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Mike Pence. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

While defending President Trump's decision to authorize the drone strike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, Vice President Pence claimed on Twitter that Soleimani helped "10 of the 12" Sept. 11 attackers travel to Afghanistan.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Reality check: "That does not match established historical accounts of General [Soleimani] or public United States intelligence about the hijackers," The New York Times writes.

  • Soleimani is not mentioned whatsoever in the "9/11 Commission Report." The report concludes there is no evidence that Iran nor Hezbollah were aware of the 9/11 attacks.
  • Soleimani focused on undermining Saudi Arabia, and is said to have helped facilitate the capture of Al Qaeda militants on behalf of the U.S., the Times writes.
  • Pence also mentioned 12 attackers, but there were 19. Katie Waldman, a spokesperson for Pence, told the Times the vice president was referring to a sub-group of attackers known to have traveled through Afghanistan.
  • Waldman did note that the U.S. Treasury Department identified and sanctioned three senior Al Qaeda operatives living in Iran in 2016, and knowingly allowed them and several 9/11 attackers to move through Iran to Afghanistan.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information from Vice President Mike Pence's spokesperson Katie Waldman.

Go deeper: The next move on Iran

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

Biden condemns Russian aggression on 7th anniversary of Crimea annexation

Putin giving a speech in Sevastapol, Crimea, in 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for the people of Ukraine and vowed to hold Russia accountable for its aggression in a statement on Friday, the 7th anniversary of Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Why it matters: The statement reflects the aggressive approach Biden is taking to Russia, which he classified on the campaign trail as an "opponent" and "the biggest threat" to U.S. security and alliances.