After a carping chorus of congressional critics demanded that President Donald Trump have consulted with them about last week’s drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and that Trump tell them what might be next in his plan to defend American interests in the Middle East, they got their wish, but in true Trump style.
“These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!” Trump tweeted Sunday after a string of tweets warning Iran that any retaliation for the drone strike would be met by a rebuilt American military.
These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2020
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado said on CNN the tweet was like Trump “raising his middle finger at the Congress,” Newsweek reported.
The Democrat-dominated House Foreign Affairs Committee tweeted back its snarky reply.
“This Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution. And that you should read the War Powers Act. And that you’re not a dictator,” the committee tweeted.
This Media Post will serve as a reminder that war powers reside in the Congress under the United States Constitution. And that you should read the War Powers Act. And that you’re not a dictator. https://t.co/VTroMegWv0
— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) January 5, 2020
On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was asked whether Trump would declassify the intelligence that led to the drone strike “and prove to Congress what the threat was from Soleimani,” according to a White House media pool report.
Conway swatted aside the suggestion.
“Prove to a Congress — you think that they’ll be satisfied? It sounds like they’re defending Soleimani and attacking this president, and that’s on them. I’m a little tired of this hero worship of whoever the president has taken out,” she said.
“He’s the commander in chief, and he did what a responsible, strong — not weak — commander in chief does when faced with the opportunity to take out one of the, if not the world’s most wanted terrorist,” Conway added.
Noting that, “his door is open, his phone works,” she said Trump has been in dialogue with members of Congress.
She also said some members of Congress should not be informed.
“A lot of people just like to head straight to the cameras. Could you imagine telling the chairman of the Intel Committee, one Adam Schiff, that this was going to happen? Could you imagine? The man goes to bed with his earpiece and microphone on. So what would’ve happened?” Conway said.
Citing past meetings that ended abruptly, Conway said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “might leave in a fit” if Trump called her to the White House for a briefing.
Above all, Conway said, members of Congress demanding briefings they know will come in due course “should calm down and celebrate, not denigrate, the fact that the world’s greatest terrorist, who is single-handedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans” was killed.
Conway’s comments echoed those of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who said Sunday on “Fox & Friends” that Democrats need to look at Soleimani’s death through something other than a political lens.
“This goon killed over 600 Americans directly responsible for tens of thousands, if not millions of deaths of Iranians and other people across the world,” Huckabee said. “And for the Democrats and the media to be just mourning his death like he’s some kind of hero, I mean, this guy makes Charles Manson look like a Franciscan monk for heaven’s sakes.”
Huckabee noted that the U.S. has already shared its assessment that Soleimani was planning attacks against American targets.
“What was he doing in Iraq driving around in a car from the airport? Was he cruising by to get a Sonic burger? No, he was there to carry on what he had already started and that was to attack the U.S. Embassy,” Huckabee said.
“The president ought to be applauded. And I can’t imagine what’s wrong with people if they want a country to be a loser country, a patsy, a country that always apologizes for being strong, then vote for these Democrats.”
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