Administration

Kellyanne Conway accuses Trump critics of ‘hero worship’ for Soleimani

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday hammered Democrats over their response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, accusing critics of the move of not being properly appreciative of President Trump’s decision to target the high-ranking Iranian official.

“You think that they’ll be satisfied?” Conway said from the White House briefing room when asked about declassifying to Congress the intelligence that led to the strike.

“It sounds like they’re defending Soleimani and attacking this president, and that’s on them. I’m a little tired of this hero worship of whoever the president has taken out.”

Conway said she expected lawmakers to be briefed, potentially at some point this week, on the operation that killed Soleimani in Baghdad last week. Soleimani led the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans across the Middle East over the past several years.

“I know that they’ll be briefed in due course, and probably expeditiously. And they know that, too,” she said. “But they also should calm down and celebrate, not denigrate, the fact that the world’s greatest terrorist” was killed.

The killing of Soleimani has led to renewed concerns about heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Officials in Tehran have vowed retaliation and Trump has responded by threatening to target Iranian cultural sites if Americans are harmed.

Lawmakers in Washington — and Democrats, in particular — have raised concerns about presidential war powers following the strike on Soleimani, demanding that Trump seek congressional authorization for future action.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Monday called for Trump to declassify the notification of the operation as mandated under the War Powers Act. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told The Washington Post there should be open hearings on the events in the Middle East.

But Conway defended the president’s communications with Congress, saying they would be briefed in due course.

She also defended his decision not to brief congressional leaders before approving the operation last week, suggesting that some lawmakers, such as Schiff, would have possibly leaked plans to the press.

“Could you imagine telling [Schiff], that this was going to happen? Could you imagine?” Conway said. “The man goes to bed with his earpiece and microphone on. So what would’ve happened?”

Tags Adam Schiff Bob Menendez Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump House Iran strike Kellyanne Conway Robert Menendez Senate Soleimani death White House
See all Hill.TV See all Video