Donald Trump‘s authorization of a drone strike that killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani has led to pushback from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the president did not receive the go-ahead from Congress and kept Democratic leaders in the dark about the action.
Seemingly in response to her statement, conservative radio personality Mark Levin took to Twitter to suggest that Trump was not obligated to seek authorization from Congress before ordering the strike, Breitbart reports.
“Trump didn’t confer with Congress? Uh, Congress has been on recess,” Levin wrote. “Moreover, the House Intelligence Committee has spent months orchestrating a coup against our president rather than doing its job protecting America from, among others, the terrorist regime in Iran.”
“But a president is not required to alert Congress to a real-time defensive military action. So Pelosi and her ilk can leak and put the military action at risk? These Democrats are undermining our security. We were attacked by the Iranian regime.”
Pelosi slammed the attack on Soleimani and suggested that it could escalate violence between the U.S. and Iran. She called for lawmakers to be “immediately briefed” on the situation as well as for the Trump administration’s plans on how to move forward, including addressing the planned deployment of 3,350 troops from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East.
President Trump does not have the authority for a war with Iran.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 3, 2020
This action may well have brought our nation closer to another endless war, the kind of endless war he promised not to drag us into.
Congress & the American people need answers from the Administration immediately pic.twitter.com/Yk26MdNLj2
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on CNN’s New Day and claimed that the strike was a response to reports that Soleimani was planning an attack on U.S. citizens. According to Pompeo, an attack was “imminent” and the decision was driven by “intelligence-based assessment.”
The attack has nevertheless sparked fears about a war with Iran. Independent Rep. Justin Amash recently addressed the situation and said that Trump does not have the authorization to go to war unilaterally. The Michigan representative noted that the Constitution gives Congress the power to authorize war because all Americans could be “intimately affected” by such a conflict. He acknowledged that Soleimani was “evil” but noted that the U.S. system requires “consent for war from the people” via their senators and representatives in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard called the strike an “act of war” and echoed Amash, claiming that Trump did not have authorization for such a declaration from Congress and accused the president of violating the Constitution. The Hawaii representative and Iraq War veteran also said that a war with Iran would cost more lives and taxpayer dollars than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that the strike will undermine United States national security.