Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Thursday complained that members of the Trump administration presented Congress with an "inadequate" briefing about the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, and she left the meeting feeling concerned about whether the White House and President Donald Trump acted rationally.
"He should have consulted with Congress, and I'm very concerned that this president continues to govern by chaos," the New York Democrat told CNN's "New Day." "I was not satisfied. I believe the briefing was inadequate and I don't believe they met the legal definition of an imminent threat."
However, she conceded that Soleimani had been a threat to the United States and its citizens and allies for a "very long time."
"He has blood on his hands," Gillibrand commented. "He is not a good actor under any definition, and he controlled the Quds Force, which is a terrorist organization. So we know that he was not someone that should be praised or protected."
But when the decision is made to "take out the number two of another country, the most significant military leader," the opposing country could easily take the action as a declaration of war, said Gillibrand, and it is up to Congress to declare war.
Gillibrand also said she's not surprised to hear that Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul are sounding like they'll go along with a vote on a resolution by Sen. Tim Kaine to limit Trump's powers on Iran.
"I spoke with Mike Lee after the briefing, and I talked to him about what our views were of that briefing, and both of us were deeply dissatisfied by the lack of information, the lack of respect for co-equal branch of government, and he's going to look at my broader war powers resolution," said Gillibrand, explaining that her version requires presidents to fulfill specific requirements and then get continued authorization every two years to avoid "forever wars."
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