The Trump administration held a classified intelligence briefing with Senators today to discuss actions against Iran. But it didn’t go over well, and the biggest condemnation came from a Senator on the same side of the aisle as Donald Trump. GOP Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) complained afterward that this was “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.” He called part of the meeting “insulting and demeaning” saying:
“They had to leave after 75 minutes, while they’re in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public. I find that absolutely insane. I think it’s unacceptable.”
“It is not acceptable for officials within the executive branch of government. I don’t care if they with the CIA, the Department of Defense or otherwise. To come in and tell us that we can’t debate and discuss the appropriateness of military intervention against Iran. It’s un-American. It’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong.”
Senator Rand Paul joined Lee in condemning the briefing.
GOP Sen. Mike Lee goes off on the Trump briefing: "They had to leave after 75 minutes, while they’re in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public. I find that absolutely insane. I think it’s unacceptable." pic.twitter.com/rs6LOimfAm
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 8, 2020
The Senators said the briefing convinced them to support a resolution that Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced under the War Powers Act to restrain Trump’s powers to declare military action against Iran.
Thank you @SenMikeLee and @RandPaul — longtime champions of the need for Congress to check Presidents’ warmaking powers — for supporting my resolution to prevent further hostilities with Iran without authorization. It’s our constitutional duty. https://t.co/BLgbjHv4ge
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 8, 2020
Watch Lee’s full reaction above from C-Span.