White House falsely claims 'Obama killed Gaddafi' to justify Soleimani strike

Kathryn Krawczyk

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley didn't do a great job defending his employer on this one.

As Democrats and some Republicans continue to criticize President Trump's decision to assassinate Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Gidley chimed in to compare it to the killings of several controversial leaders during former President Barack Obama's presidency. But as journalists and former Obama officials made clear, Gidley's comparisons weren't exactly accurate.



Yes, Obama did oversee the killing of Osama bin Laden, which was a widely praised move. But the "legality" of the U.S. killing of al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was "a huge political issue" that even led Democrats to team up with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to challenge it, Lawfare's Susan Hennessey writes. And Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi? He was overthrown and killed by a Libyan mob.

Gidley's tweet came just after Fox News aired a clip of Trump telling network host Laura Ingraham that "I think" Soleimani was planning to attack "four embassies" when he was assassinated, and "that it was probably going to be the embassy in Baghdad." This begs the question that The New York Times' Maggie Haberman later tweeted in response to Gidley: "Why not release the intel since POTUS keeps talking about it?"

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