McConnell: Democrats Can’t Debate Iran Strike Because They Weren’t Briefed

McConnell: Democrats Can’t Debate Iran Strike Because They Weren’t Briefed

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Democrats should not be raising concerns after Donald Trump ordered an attack that killed a top Iranian general.

McConnell left out the fact that Democratic leaders were not given a customary briefing on the attack on Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani before the operation was carried out — with Trump suggesting on Twitter that he didn’t brief Democrats because he does not trust them.

“Although I anticipate and welcome a debate about America’s interest in foreign policy in the Middle East, I recommend that all senators wait to review the facts and hear from the administration before passing much public judgement on this operation and its potential consequences,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — both of whom would customarily be briefed on imminent military attacks as part of what’s known as the “Gang of 8” on Capitol Hill — both said they were not given advance notice on the attack or strategy behind it.

“The Trump Admin has conducted strikes in Iraq targeting high-level Iranian military officials and killing Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani without an AUMF against Iran,” Pelosi tweeted, referring to an Authorization for Use of Military Force, which enables a president to conduct an attack. “Further, this action was taken without the consultation of the Congress.”

In response to Democrats’ frustration over not being briefed, Trump retweeted a comment from conservative provocateur and conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza.

Following Schumer’s assertion on Twitter that he was not briefed prior to the attack, D’Souza had replied, “Neither were the Iranians, and for pretty much the same reason” — suggesting Democrats are as untrustworthy as an American adversary.

Ultimately, Democrats are concerned that Trump authorized an attack on Soleimani without consideration of a possible escalation of violence, drawing the United States into yet another protracted conflict in the Middle East. 

And Democrats want Trump to ask Congress for permission to go to war with Iran, following the Constitutional provision that says Congress declares war, not a president unilaterally.

“The president does not have the authority for a war with Iran,” Schumer said on the Senate floor on Friday. “If he plans a large increase in troops and potential hostility over a longer time, the administration will require congressional approval— and the approval of the American people.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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