SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – On Saturday, speaking to the Utah Eagle Forum, Utah Sen. Mike Lee praised the president — even as he criticized a classified briefing by administration officials after the attack on an Iranian general.
Lee says the classified meeting followed the attack on Iran’s general, Qasem Soleimani.
What Lee says he heard, though, made him angry — as officials would not elaborate sufficiently about what the general was planning.
Watch his remarks after the meeting below:
“We then reminded them that we were in an underground bunker, several stories beneath the grand floor of the Capitol and that this was exactly the appropriate place in which to share that — and they said, ‘Yeah maybe some other time,'” said Lee.
The message, he says, was not to debate the topic as a legislative body — even though the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war.
“We were being advised to not exercise — and not even advocated on behalf of — the exercise of our power. It’s not really our power, it’s your power,” said Lee.
“My oath to the Constitution doesn’t contain a carve-out that says — ‘except when the president of your party is in office’,” added Lee.
Lee says his criticism is not directed at President Trump — whom Lee says prevented military escalation through his actions.
“President Obama would have gotten us involved, as would have both Bushes,” said Lee.
“As might have Reagan, as would have Clinton. Trump didn’t. Trump has managed to exercise his power in a matter that’s restrained — he has made us look stronger through the restraint of power.”
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