In an exclusive article released last week, NBC News reported that Trump approved the assassination of Soleimani after it was presented to him during a meeting in June.
Trump's decision to assassinate Soleimani followed an incident in June when the Iranian Revolutionary Guards shot down an expensive U.S. drone that reportedly entered Iranian airspace.
According to NBC, Trump authorized the assassination of Soleimani if Iran carried out any more attacks against the U.S. military personnel and citizens in the Middle East.
Trump gave his final approval for the assassination after hundreds of Iraqi citizens stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad following the American attack on Kata'eb Hezbollah's bases in Syria and Iraq. This attack resulted in the death of 30+ Kata'eb Hezbollah members, which greatly angered many Iraqis.
The reported timing of the presidential order appears to undermine Trump's assertion that he authorized the assassination after learning that Soleimani was planning "imminent" attacks on US embassies in the Middle East.
The United States killed Soleimani and Iraqi Shiite militia leader Abu Mahdi Muhandis in an operation on January 3rd near the Baghdad International Airport.