Thursday night, Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike in Iraq. The attack was authorized by President Trump. New York Congressman Peter King, a Republican, says while “there was no offensive briefing of Congress,” President Donald Trump had the authority to do so, without their permission.
“I assume that the top people on the intelligence committee were probably notified,” King told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move. “I know that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he'd been told about it earlier in the week. This is the type of thing which usually is a close hold.
“People who say the president should have gone to Congress to get authorization, we can have that debate about a declaration of war... Every president has asserted this power, whether it was President Clinton, President Obama, President Bush, the right to take quick action when they believe it's in the best interests of the United States and that quick action is required.”
Congressman King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Ranking Member of the Sub-Committee on Emergency Preparedness, immediately rallied behind President Trump’s decision following the drone strike on Twitter late Thursday evening, encouraging others to do the same.
Vital that Americans unite behind @POTUS Trump decision to attack and kill Iranian terrorist Soleimani. No time for political sniping.— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) January 3, 2020
On Friday morning, Secretary Mike Pompeo responded to the strike on Fox News, calling President Trump’s decision “necessary” due to imminent attacks against American interests that Soleimani was orchestrating. Pompeo also shared that Soleimani was indeed responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, including the death of American contractor in late December.
King reacted to Pompeo’s comments saying it was “important take him out now” and “the right thing to do.”
He does however believe Congress will have their time to share their thoughts on the matter.
“We'll have to wait until we get all the evidence in. But I think it's wrong to be, at this stage, criticizing the president,” Representative King continues, “After Congress is briefed, if people have objections, that's the time to do it. But I think it's important for the face of the world to show that we are, again, united.”
Brooke DiPalma is a producer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma.