Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing

Several Democratic senators say the administration did not discuss an alleged threat that Iran was planning to "blow up" a U.S. Embassy during a closed-door briefing this week. 
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Meadows trying to root out suspected White House leakers by feeding them info: Axios Pressley hits DeVos over reopening schools: 'I wouldn't trust you to care for a house plant let alone my child' MORE, during a press conference on Thursday, said that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed last week by a U.S. airstrike, was "looking to blow up our embassy." 
 
Democrats, however, appeared caught off guard by Trump's allegation, noting it did not come up during a briefing with top administration officials including Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Amazon backtracks, says email asking employees to delete TikTok was sent in error Amazon asks employees to delete TikTok from mobile devices: report MORE, Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCongress pulls punches on Russian bounties firestorm Senate Democrats demand to see copies of Trump's intelligence briefings on Russian bounties Overnight Defense: Top general says military must take 'hard look' at Confederate symbols on installations | Milley vows to 'get to bottom' of Russia bounty intel | Woman to join Green Berets for first time MORE and CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelRussian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Top intelligence officials to brief Gang of Eight on Thursday MORE
 
 
"That's news to me based on sitting through that hearing. ... I sat through that hearing, I listened very carefully, I would have definitely known if anybody said that," he said. 
 
 
"It's striking that that additional specific detail is now being offered up by President Trump. ... For that to be released today in a public setting, and not to have been shared with, at least in the setting that I was in yesterday for an hour and a half, with virtually all of the Senate is pretty striking," he added. 
 
Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyGOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary MORE (D-Mass.) told MSNBC, "No, we did not hear about blowing up the embassy ... in that briefing, and I sat through it from beginning to end."
 
Trump has repeatedly doubled down on his claim Soleimani was plotting attacks against U.S. embassies.  
 
Trump told a crowd of supporters during a rally in Ohio on Thursday night that “Soleimani was actively planning new attacks and he was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad." 
 
He also told Fox News's Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook- Schools weigh reopening options Trump's July 4 weekend comes with COVID-19 backdrop Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record MORE, in an interview set to air on Friday, that Soleimani was planning attacks against four embassies.
 
Trump's comments come after Democrats emerged from closed-door briefings on Capitol Hill on Wednesday unconvinced by the administration's argument that they were preventing an "imminent" threat by killing Soleimani — an act that brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war.
 
Pompeo backed up the president during a press conference on Friday, telling reporters that Soleimani was planning “large-scale” attacks on embassies, though he acknowledged that U.S. officials did not know the exact time or place of a potential attack.
 
He also said that they discussed with lawmakers an imminent threat to U.S. embassies, though he declined to go into detail on Friday about the conversation.
 
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Puerto Rico primary In politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Biden wins Louisiana primary MORE (I-Vt.), who is running for president, said in a statement that the administration offered "no evidence" during the closed-door briefing with all senators that backed up their claim that Soleimani was killed to prevent an "imminent" threat.
 
"Trump justified the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by claiming that it was necessary to prevent 'imminent' attacks on U.S. forces, but his administration has offered no evidence to back that claim up, even in a classified setting. Then he claimed that there were plans to attack U.S. embassies, again offering no evidence," Sanders said. 
 
Asked about Pompeo's comments, Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Thomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Trump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO MORE (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also told CNN, "I can tell you he wasn’t at the same briefing that I was in."
 
"I don’t know what the secretary is talking about. I stayed for the whole briefing, even after I got to ask my questions," Menendez added. "I stayed there even as they left, because they abruptly ended the briefing. I didn’t hear then what he just said.”