Florida Republican Matt Gaetz has been one of the strongest supporters of President Donald Trump, but the congressman has now found his way on to the bad side of the White House after supporting a resolution to limit the president’s power to strike Iran, a new report claims.
Gaetz this week voted in favor of the War Powers Resolution, which is meant to give congress more power in approving military attacks. The resolution came after Trump did not seek congressional approval before a strike that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani in an attack that dramatically raised tensions between the two countries and led to Iran launching a series of missile attacks against American bases in Iraq.
The measure had gained some GOP support, with Gaetz among the handful of Republicans who gave a rare rebuke to the president by voting in favor of it. As The Daily Beast noted in a recent article, his vote did not go over well with Trump. The article also noted, citing a report from TheWashington Post, that the White House was “icing out” Gaetz in response, despite his strong support for Trump.
A senior White House official said that Trump’s administration was no longer returning Gaetz’s communications after what they called his “quite unwise” push to limit Trump’s military powers.
Gaetz’s office noted that his vote was not a criticism of the president or his decision to launch an attack that killed Soleimani.
Though Gaetz has been a staunch ally of the president and one of the most vocal Republicans to support Trump during impeachment hearings, Gaetz has also not been shy to speak out against the administration at times. Last year, he admitted in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo that it was unusual for Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to be traveling to Ukraine. Giuliani was at the center of allegations that Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to launch an investigation into political opponent Joe Biden.
As Talking Points Memo noted, Gaetz made it clear that his job was not to defend Giuliani, though he did give Trump some cover by admitting that past administrations have used people in a “non-traditional way” regarding diplomacy.
“I think it’s a little weird Rudy Giuliani is in the Ukraine right now,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz was also not the only Republican to break with the Trump administration after the strike against Iran. Some have spoken out about the administration’s attempt to justify the attack. Republican Senator Mike Lee commented that the briefing given to senators was the worst he had ever seen during his nine years in the U.S. Senate.