Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is co-sponsoring Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) legislation to freeze funding in order to halt further unilateral military action in Iran, the lawmakers confirmed on Saturday.
“As United States Senators, we often disagree on many issues. But standing up for the Constitution is not about partisanship,” the two lawmakers said in a statement to CNN.
“The Founding Fathers were absolutely clear. They wanted to ensure that our country avoided needless conflict and they understood that presidential war-making would be harmful to our democracy,” they added
Sanders introduced the bill after President Donald Trump’s decision to eliminate Iran’s top terror general, Qasem Soleimani, who was responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans and approved of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. According to the Pentagon, the terrorist general was actively planning more attacks throughout the region with the explicit intention of harming U.S. service members and diplomats.
As Breitbart News reported:
The Pentagon said Soleimani had orchestrated attacks on U.S.-led coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months, including one on December 27 which killed an American contractor and wounded U.S. service members and Iraqi personnel.
However, Lee was disappointed in the Trump administration’s briefing on the attack, calling it “probably the worst briefing I have seen at least on a military issue in the nine years I have served in the United States Senate.”
What I found so distressing about that briefing was that one of the messages we received from the briefers was do not debate, do not discuss the issue of the appropriateness of further military intervention against Iran. And that if you do, you’ll be emboldening Iran.
The implication being that we would somehow be making America less safe by having a debate or a discussion about the appropriateness of further military involvement against the government of Iran,” he continued. “I find it insulting and demeaning.
Lee clarified to Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that he “supports the legal and moral justification for striking Soleimani and that he believes the worst military briefing was the Barack Obama administration’s briefing on the 2012 Benghazi consulate attack.”
“I want to be very clear, my comments yesterday did not take a position on the appropriateness of the attack that occurred,” he told Breitbart News.
“They were not condemning that; in fact, I acknowledged upfront that I’m willing to concede that they might well have been legally, morally, justifiable and fully constitutional,” he continued:
I mentioned yesterday that it was probably the worst briefing I have ever seen on a military issue. The reason I qualify it that way is that the worst briefing I ever got in that room was on a slightly different issue back in 2012 right after the Benghazi attack, where we were told repeatedly by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was based on a reaction to a video, so, fortunately, this was not that.
“I don’t think they [the Trump officials] were trying to deceive us, but I think some of what they said was emblematic of Congress’s willingness to relinquish its war powers, and that’s an issue,” Lee added, noting that the officials who briefed Congress are “good people.”
“The reason I think we need to do this [War Powers resolution] is consistent with the president’s desire to keep us out of excessive, unnecessary wars,” Lee said, citing the vision of the founding fathers.
The largely symbolic War Powers resolution passed in the House on Thursday.