Senator Lee still supports Trump after criticizing briefing
SANDY, Utah (AP) — Just days after Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah criticized a briefing on the killing of an Iranian military leader as “insulting” and “demeaning,” he made it clear he still supports President Donald Trump.
″(Trump) has made us look stronger through the restraint of power, not through the excessive abuse of it. And I applaud him for that,” Lee said Saturday in Sandy at the annual convention of the Utah Eagle Forum, a far-right group active in state politics, the Deseret News reported.
Lee said he wanted to make it clear that while he called Wednesday’s briefing “probably the worst briefing I’ve seen, at least on a military issue, in the nine years I’ve served in the United States Senate,” that is in no way a signal that his support of the president is wavering.
Military leaders and Trump administration officials refused to answer questions from members of Congress about the reasons for the Jan. 2 drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Lee said. Officials also asked that members of Congress not discuss or debate the issue and declined to say what level of military intervention would require the approval of Congress.
Lee said he still supports a resolution to curb Trump’s ability to expand the conflict with Iran.
On Saturday, Lee issued a joint statement with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, calling on the Senate to vote for the “No War Against Iran Act,” which “utilizes Congress’ power of the purse to block any funds from going to an unauthorized war with Iran.”
“If we’re going to engage in further hostile acts against Iran, we need to do so just as the Constitution endorses and as the Constitution ordains,” Lee said to the Eagle Forum attendees, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. “We need to do so only when there is an authorization to use military force or a declaration of war, or where the president is acting to repel or respond to a national or imminent attack on the United States.”