AP NEWS

Massachusetts delegation asks Trump to explain Iran attack

January 3, 2020 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Members of Massachusetts’ all-Democratic congressional delegation are calling on President Donald Trump to brief lawmakers on his decision to authorize the killing of Iran’s top general in an airstrike.

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday that he ordered the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani because he was “plotting to kill” many Americans and that “he should have been taken out many years ago.”

Members of the state’s delegation said Trump needs to explain the larger strategy behind the move.

Sen. Edward Markey called the attack “a massive, deliberate, and dangerous escalation” of the conflict with Iran.

Markey, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that while Soleimani was responsible for assassinations, terrorism, and the deaths of Americans, his killing will only invite more attacks on Americans.

“Congress is the only entity that can authorize military force,” Markey said in a statement. “President Trump must come immediately to Congress and brief us with details of what imminent threat the administration supposedly was preventing, as well as the diplomatic strategy to avert another military campaign in the Middle East.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent out a series of tweets criticizing Trump for a lack of a larger strategy for the region.

“Donald Trump ripped up an Iran nuclear deal that was working. He’s repeatedly escalated tensions. Now he’s assassinated a senior foreign military official. He’s been marching toward war with Iran since his first days in offices,” said Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate.

Richard Neal, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Congress needs to know more about the killing.

“The full Congress must be briefed immediately before any other action is taken or any additional troops enter the region,” Neal said in a statement. “While our highest priority is to protect American lives, we cannot do it at the expense of our service members or those representing us overseas.”

Rep. Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran, said Trump’s actions are undermining his own stated goals.

“Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and shredding of the Iran Nuclear Deal have so far succeeded in increasing Iranian attacks on the U.S. and our allies, restarting their nuclear program, and further empowering hardliners in the Iranian government — on every count the precise opposite of what we need and what the administration itself says it is trying to achieve,” Moulton said in a statement.