Trump at a "Keep America Great" rally in Toledo, Ohio on Jan. 9. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. made an unsuccessful attempt to kill a senior Iranian official in Yemen on the same day that top Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani was killed in an American airstrike, the New York Times and Washington Post report.

Why it matters: This second operation, targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, could indicate that killing Soleimani "was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans," the Post reports.

  • The Pentagon has said the U.S. killed Soleimani because the general was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region."
  • President Trump told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Friday that he believed Iran planned to attack four U.S. embassies as part of its imminent threat, but he provided no evidence for that claim.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also described the attacks as "imminent."

But, a classified briefing on Wednesday left Democrats and even some Republicans deeply skeptical, with many claiming that officials did not provide evidence of the "imminent" threat from Iran.

  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on Twitter on Friday that the Trump administration did not provide proof of imminent attacks on four embassies at the Wednesday briefing.

Background: The Pentagon has not confirmed an attempted Jan. 2 strike on Shahlai. The agency told the Post and NYT that Yemen "is long-understood as a safe space for terrorists and other adversaries to the United States."

  • Shahlai is a financier and key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, the Post notes.
  • The White House did not immediately respond to comment on Friday. The State Department declined to comment to the Post.

Go deeper: The Trump administration's mixed messages on the Soleimani strike

Go deeper

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.

Pelosi: Trump is "messing with the health of our children" with push to open schools

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' aggressive push to fully reopen schools this fall is "malfeasance and dereliction of duty," accusing the Trump administration of "messing with the health of our children."

Why it matters: Trump has demanded that schools reopen as part of his efforts to juice the economy by allowing parents to return to work, despite caution from health officials that little is known about how the virus impacts children.