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'He Was a Lawful Military Target': Obama's DHS Head Defends Strike on Soleimani

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As Republicans and Democrats mulled whether the airstrike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was legal, former President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security head argued it was entirely legal without Congressional authorization.

In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said President Donald Trump did not need approval from Congress to authorize the strike.

“If you believe everything that our government is saying about General Soleimani, he was a lawful military target. And the president, under his Constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief, had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without an additional Congressional authorization.”

Watch his comments below:

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Over the weekend, legal experts noted that the United Nations prohibits countries from exercising the use of force in another country — unless that country has given consent to allow another country to conduct military operations within its borders.

However, they argued that if Iraq did not consent to the airstrike, it would undermine the Trump administration’s argument that the strike was lawful.

In the days following the strike, the Iraqi parliament voted to approve a non-binding resolution to expel U.S. forces from the country.

On Sunday, the U.S. announced it was ending its operations targeting ISIS, and Trump threatened to slap Iraq with harsh sanctions like “they’ve never seen before ever” if the government demanded American forces leave the country. 

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