Adam Schiff: Trump generated ‘understandable doubt’ about Iranian threat

May 17, 2019 GMT

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has called out President Trump for generating “understandable doubt” about the nuclear threat from Iran that prompted the administration to withdraw diplomats from Iraq and deploy additional forces to the region in the past two weeks.

Mr. Schiff said the president “has mischaracterized prior intelligence on other matters when it contradicted his preferred narrative.” The California Democrat raised concerns about miscalculation on behalf of Iran stemming from the administration’s actions.

His hard-line stance came one day after he emerged tight-lipped from a classified briefing with the so-called Gang of Eight senators on the latest tension with Iran. Sources told The Washington Times that the briefing was linked to intelligence that showed Tehran-backed militias in Iraq moving rockets to locations that could hit bases where American troops are positioned in the nation.

“None of the actions taken by the administration, ill-considered or otherwise, justify any form of violent response from the Iranian regime,” Mr. Schiff said Friday.

He echoed his colleagues’ warning to the administration that Congress has not given the authority to authorize military force against Iran, saying that “any suggestion that the use of force against Iran would be covered by the 2001 AUMF is dangerous and insupportable.”

Mr. Schiff said a briefing for all members of Congress by intelligence agencies of the threat posed by Iran will occur “in the coming days.” A briefing for members of the Senate is scheduled for Tuesday.