Fox's Wallace presses O'Brien on contradiction between Trump threat claims, briefing

Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceDemocrats urge Biden to resist filibuster, court-packing calls The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting First presidential debate to cover coronavirus, Supreme Court MORE on Sunday grilled White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien on President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE’s claim that the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani to avert an imminent attack on four U.S. embassies, which lawmakers say was never mentioned in a briefing by representatives of the Trump administration.

“It does seem to be a contradiction. He’s telling Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamEx-Pence aide: Trump spent 45 minutes of task force meeting 'going off on Tucker Carlson' instead of talking coronavirus Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report NYC living statue shows Trump desecrating graves of war dead, COVID-19 victims MORE [about imminent attacks], but in a 75-minute classified briefing, your top national security people never mentioned this to members of Congress. Why not?” Wallace asked O’Brien on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I wasn’t at the briefing, and I don’t know how the Q&A went back and forth. Sometimes it depends on the questions that were asked or how they were phrased,” O’Brien said.

“It’s always difficult, even with the exquisite intelligence that we have, to know exactly what the targets are, but it’s certainly consistent with the intelligence to assume that they would have hit embassies in at least four countries,” he added.

Wallace also asked O’Brien if Iranian actions in recent months had raised any doubts about the effectiveness of the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.

“I think the maximum pressure campaign is working. It’s demonstrable that it’s working. The Iranian economy has contracted by at least 10 percent. We haven’t seen that with a modern economy in many, many years,” O’Brien responded.

“Iran is being choked off. Iran is going to have no choice but to come to the table,” he added.

Wallace also questioned O’Brien on Trump’s claims that Congress’s Gang of Eight was not briefed before the killing of Soleimani because House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffChris Matthews ripped for complimenting Trump's 'true presidential behavior' on Ginsburg Trump casts doubt on Ginsburg statement, wonders if it was written by Schiff, Pelosi or Schumer Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence MORE (D-Calif.) would have leaked it to the media, asking him if there had ever been a case of congressional Democrats leaking sensitive national security information to the press.

O’Brien declined to give any such examples, instead citing former President Obama’s lack of briefing ahead of the killings of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda-affiliated cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.