Senior Democrats have criticised President Trump (pictured at the White House on April 13) for launching airstrikes on Syria without the approval of Congress
Democrats have criticised President Trump for launching airstrikes on Syria without the approval of Congress, with some branding the move ‘illegal’.
On Friday night, the US joined Britain and France in striking three targets as revenge against President Assad’s chemical attack on the rebel enclave of Douma on April 7, with bombers and fast jets firing more than 100 missiles.
The decision led to a chorus of disapproval from senior Democrats – with some pointing out that striking Syria without the approval of Congress was exactly what Trump himself warned Obama against in 2013.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi branded Assad’s chemical attack ‘an inhumane war crime’ but accused Trump of lacking a ‘coherent strategy’ in a statement released on Saturday.
‘This latest chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people was a brutally inhumane war crime that demands a strong, smart and calculated response. One night of airstrikes is not a substitute for a clear, comprehensive Syria strategy
‘The President must come to Congress and secure an Authorization for Use of Military Force by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians’
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (pictured at the Capitol in Washington on April 12) released a statement branding Assad’s chemical attack ‘an inhumane war crime’ but accused Trump of lacking a ‘coherent strategy’.
Tim Caine branded the move ‘illegal’ and accused Trump of going back on his own warning to Obama in 2013
Virginia Senator Tim Caine branded the move ‘illegal’ and accused Trump of going back on his previous comments.
‘Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without Congress’s approval is illegal. We need to stop giving presidents a blank check to wage war,’ he tweeted.
‘Today it’s Syria, but what’s going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next?’
He then added in a further tweet on Saturday: ‘Of course citizen Trump said President Obama couldn’t strike Syria without congressional approval—but now President Trump doesn’t think he needs Congress. ‘I just can’t wait to be king!”
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey tweeted: ‘While Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable for his unlawful use of chemical weapons against civilians, the strikes that are being carried out are being done without an authorization from Congress, which is unacceptable.’
His criticism was backed up by , Eric Smallwell, a congressman for California, who tweeted: ‘If @realDonaldTrump had time to do the wrong thing (saber-rattling on Twitter), then he certainly had time to do the right thing (consulting Congress) before launching the #Syria strike.’
And Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie ran through a list of questions that had been raised by Trump’s action, including ‘can he strike China, Russia or Britain under the same authority’ and ‘can he bomb Assad’s living quarters’.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey said Assad had to be ‘held accountable’ but urged Trump to seek the approval of Congress for any military action
Kentucky representative Thomas Massie ran through a list of questions that had been raised by Trump’s action
Despite the reservations of many Democrats, there was plenty of support for Trump’s decision to strike Syria.
New York Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, offered muted praise to Trump.
He tweeted: ‘A pinpointed, limited action to punish and hopefully deter Assad from doing this again is appropriate, but the administration has to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.’
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, who on Thursday said Trump had the authority to attack Syria without congressional approval, praised the President’s ‘decisive action in coordination with our allies’.
And Arizona senator John McCain added: ‘I applaud the President for taking military action against the Assad regime, and I am grateful to our British and French allies for joining us in this action.
‘To succeed in the long run, we need a comprehensive strategy for Syria and the entire region.’
Under the US Constitution, the President cannot declare war without the approval of Congress.
But as Commander In Chief he can still send troops into an armed conflict without an official war declaration.
New York Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer, (pictured in New York on March 5) offered muted praise to Trump
Arizona senator John McCain said he would ‘applaud’ the military action but called on Trump to adopt a ‘comprehensive strategy’ for the Middle East