White House Spokesman Decries Distrust in U.S. Intelligence Agencies on Fox News: ‘Really Unfortunate’


White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham lamented Americans who are questioning U.S. intelligence that led Donald Trump to assassinate top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last week, saying that criticism of the intel agencies is “really unfortunate” — all while ignoring the last three years of the president’s attacks against the “deep state.”

Grisham made the comment on Fox News Tuesday morning while discussing the U.S. airstrikes in Baghdad and the possibility of Iran retaliating.

“We are definitely ready for it,” Grisham insisted after being asked about an Iran counterattack. “If they choose to retaliate, the president has made clear we will be ready for that. Our military is of course on high alert.”

When questioned about the purported information that proved Soleimani was planning major attacks against American forces in the region prior to his death, Grisham noted that she could not go into any details but slammed those who are skeptical of the U.S. intelligence system.

“I know a lot of people are now questioning the intel, that’s really unfortunate,” she replied. “A lot of people are saying [about the strike], ‘To what benefit?’ I would answer that question: The benefit is to that we saved American lives. Saved members of the military, we saved diplomats, and a lot of families from having to welcome their loved ones home in coffins.”

Grisham did not mention Trump’s own history of “questioning the intel,” as he has led a crusade against U.S. intelligence services sense the dawn of his administration. Last year, the president referenced Washington, D.C.’s intelligence apparatus by condemning the “entrenched bureaucracy” that he believes is working to undermine him and even sided with Russia over his own intelligence agencies during the 2018 Helsinki summit, saying, “President Putin says it’s not Russia [who hacked the DNC]. I don’t see any reason why it would be.” (The president has since backtracked on this comment).

Later in Grisham’s appearance on America’s Newsroom, the White House spokesperson said she disagreed with Trump-ally Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) assessment that the killing of Soleimani closes diplomatic doors between the U.S. and Iran.

“I don’t know if I agree with that. The president has said that Iran, he is welcome to talking to the them, with no preconditions,” she said. “There is nothing we could have done. The alternative was to, what, not save these people? Then what would people be saying to us? What would Congress be saying? What would Nancy Pelosi be saying? That we sat by and let something that happen to our American troops?”

H/t Media Matters’ Bobby Lewis.

Watch above, via Fox News.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma