US Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump's decision to assassinate Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani at a 'Latinos for Trump' rally in Kissimmee, Florida on Thursday.

"Bernie Sanders even called the president's decision to bring that man to justice, in his words, assassinating a government official. I got news for Bernie Sanders, Soleimani was not some government official, he was a terrorist and President Donald Trump was right to take him down," stated Pence.

Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike on January 3 near Baghdad Airport, was the commander of Iran's Quds Force, a senior government official, and widely regarded as the second most important figure in Iran behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Pence also boasted of the recently signed 'phase one' deal between the US and China, saying that "The first enforceable trade deal with China is on the books, the era of economic surrender is over and just about an hour ago the United States Senate passed the largest trade deal in American history."

The deal is considered to be a step towards easing trade tensions after 18 months of economic disputes.

Although China has committed to buying $200 (€178) billion more US goods and services in the next two years, and the US has promised to reduce tariffs in return, the deal does not obligate Beijing to any regulatory or legislative changes.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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