Sen. Chris Murphy on White House Iran Briefing: ‘When the Questions Started to Get Tough, They Left’
Senator Chris Murphy has criticized the White House for its’ briefing on what the administration claims was an ‘imminent’ attack that justified the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the Democrat questioned the administration’s rationale.
“So, first of all, it’s exceptional that it took six days for the administration to come to Congress and explain their rationale for striking a foreign government,” Murphy said.
“And then once they got here, this briefing was held in the basement of the Capitol in a secure facility, a secure room. Once they got here, they were in front of 100 senators and they walked out after about 75 minutes. Now, they didn’t walk out in a huff. I think they were scheduled to be there for an hour and 15 minutes but that’s not enough time to be able to explain the complicated and nuanced rationale for this strike.”
“There were only about 15 questions that were asked by senators,” Murphy said. “And frankly just when the questions started to get tough, they left. Now, the questions were starting to get tough because it was becoming apparent to those of us in the room that there in fact was not evidence of an imminent, detailed attack against the United States.”
“And without evidence of a specific imminent attack, the administration does not have the authority to strike without Congress. And the temperature was rising in that room because apparent to us as we asked more questions.”
Murphy declined to provide details of the questions, but several senators have made the same complaint, including Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.