Who's a crazy fringe

Outrage over Iran briefing : Republican senator calls Trump's actions "absolutely crazy"

A Republican senator has massively criticized the White House's information policy on the conflict with Iran. At the confidential meeting in a secure room in Congress, the government had provided little evidence to support the allegation that the air strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani prevented an imminent attack, said Utah Senator Mike Lee .

The government asked the senators to "be good little boys and girls, just run with them and not question that publicly," said the visibly angry senator. Lee is not yet known as a critic of his fellow party member, President Donald Trump.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA chief Gina Haspel and the other government officials only took a good hour and left most of the questions unanswered. “I think that's absolutely crazy. That is unacceptable, ”he said.

The government's disregard for the Senate is "un-American" and "unconstitutional," Lee said. At the same time, he announced that he would vote for an initiative by a Democratic senator to make it more difficult for the government to wage war. Republican Senator Rand Paul, who criticizes Trump more often on military issues, also described the information as inadequate and wanted to join the initiative.

Massive criticism from Democrats too

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said the government had failed to provide solid evidence to justify the air strike on Soleimani "because it probably doesn't exist". A close ally of Trump's Senator Lindsey Graham, however, said the government had put forward "compelling reasons".

In response to Soleimani’s killing, Iran fired rockets on Wednesday night at the Ain al-Assad bases west of Baghdad and in Erbil to the north. Tehran also called the attacks an "act of self-defense". There were no fatalities.

The Iranian leadership swore vengeance after the attack on Soleimani in Baghdad last week. The US government argues that Soleimani was working on serious attacks on US targets that were imminent and that claimed many lives.

Attack on Iranian General Soleimani "impulsive and ruthless"

There was also criticism of the information provided by the US government in the second chamber of Congress, the House of Representatives. Democratic MP Gerry Connolly, for example, said he was not convinced of the alleged imminent threat Soleimani allegedly posed. The government is only trying to provide an argument for behavior "that was impulsive and inconsiderate and that endangered the security of our country".

In contrast, Republican MP Adam Kinzinger told Fox News after the session in Congress that the US government had provided a lot of information in the briefing. He was "more convinced than ever" that the US military had saved the lives of Americans through the attack. “You did the right thing.” Anyone who is not convinced of this has not been listening properly.

Democrats want to restrict Trump's war policies

The Democrats in the House of Representatives want to introduce a resolution on Thursday to limit a possible military action by President Donald Trump against Iran. According to this, the government should end any hostilities against Iran within 30 days if Congress does not approve them.

"America and the world cannot afford war," said House Chairwoman, Democrat Nancy Pelosi. The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, but not in the Senate, where Republicans dominate. (dpa, Tsp)

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page