Senator Lee praises Trump, criticizes classified briefing

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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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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...