The defense briefing Wednesday on the strike of an Iranian terrorist group leader admonished senators from "emboldening Iran" by handcuffing the president and the U.S. military from responding to aggression, according to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.
The thinking being, if Congress hampers the U.S. ability to respond to Iranian aggressions, the aggressor might act swifty without impunity.
But Lee was left livid after the 75-minute briefing.
"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," Lee told reporters.
"What I found so distressing about that briefing, was that one of the messages that we received from the briefers was 'do not debate, do not discuss the appropriateness of further military intervention against Iran – and if you do, you will be emboldening Iran.'
"I hope that they'll come back and they'll say, 'No, you misunderstood us; we didn't say that at all,'" Lee added. "I wish I could believe that."
Lee ripped the briefing as "insulting and demeaning, not personally, but to the office that each of the 100 senators in this building happens to hold," adding "the implication being that we would somehow be making America less safe by having a debate or a discussion."
"It is not acceptable for officials within the executive branch of government – I don't care whether they're with the CIA, with 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," Lee said.
"It's un-American. It's unconstitutional. And it's wrong. And I hope that they will show greater deference to their own limited power in the future, in the power that belongs to Congress."
Lee now vows to back Sen. Tim Kaine's, D-Va., War Powers Act resolution.
"That briefing is what changed my mind," Lee said. "That briefing has brought me on board with the admendments Sen. Kaine has agreed to make. I am now going to support it.
"I walked into the briefing undecided. I walked out decided, specifically because of what happened in that briefing."
The House is expected to vote this week on a similar resolution to limit Trump's military actions regarding Iran.
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