NBC News: Soleimani kill order by President Trump given in June

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Donald Trump, Mark Milley, David L. Goldfein

President Donald Trump arrives to address the nation from the White House on the ballistic missile strike that Iran launched against Iraqi air bases housing U.S. troops, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Washington, accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, center, and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (NBC News/KXAN) — According to five current and former senior administration officials, President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago, NBC News reports.

President Trump’s authorization came with a condition, one he called a “red line.” He said he would only order Soleimani’s death if Iran’s increased aggression resulted in the death of an American.

That happened on Dec. 27 when an attack in Iraq by Iranian proxies killed a U.S. contractor and wounded four U.S. service members.

But it also goes against the reason President Trump himself has claimed was his reason for taking out Soleimani. The president has said Soleimani was planning attacks against four U.S. embassies, though over the weekend the Secretary of Defense said there is no direct evidence that was true.

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