A Republican senator blamed a “dismissive attitude” toward Congress for fueling his outburst after a classified briefing on Iran’s missile attacks on Iraqi bases that host U.S. troops.
Mike Lee, a nine-year senator from Utah, told Fox News that he called the briefing “insulting and demeaning” because of how the top Trump administration officials refused to answer questions about needing Congress to authorize the use of military force.
“We repeatedly asked them: Under what circumstances you would need to come back to us to get authority from Congress before taking action against Iran,” Lee said. “For example, what if you decided you wanted to take out the supreme leader? Would you, in that circumstance, need to come back to Congress for a declaration of war and authorization for the use of military force?”
Lee said, “Astoundingly,” the briefers, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, would not directly answer the question.