Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) called the Trump administration’s Iran briefing the worst he has ever had, and Fox News cut away from his remarks.
Sen. Lee said:
The briefing lasted only 75 minutes whereupon the briefers left. This is not the biggest problem I have with the briefing which I would add was probably the worst briefing I have seen at least on a military issue in the nine years I have served in the quite senate. What I found so distressing about that briefing was that one of the messages we received from the briefers was do not debate, do not discuss the issue of the appropriateness of further military intervention against and that if you do you’ll be emboldening Iran. I find it insulting and not personally but to the office that each of the 100 senators in this building happens to hold.
It is not acceptable for officials within the executive branch of government, I don’t care whether with the CIA, with the Department of Defense or otherwise, to come in and tell us we can’t debate and discuss the appropriateness of military intervention against Iran. It’s wrong. Every time they pull a stunt like this, I’m willing to consider and introduce any and every war powers act resolution.
Video of Sen. Lee:
Fox News cut Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) as he was ripping Trump and his administration a new one for the worst briefing that he has ever had. Here is a longer clip. pic.twitter.com/PXKB60xDRj
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 8, 2020
Here’s Fox News cutting Lee off:
Fox News cut away from Republican Sen. Mike Lee as he excoriated the Trump admin’s Soleimani briefing as “probably the worst briefing at least on a military issue I’ve seen.” pic.twitter.com/736Qtd6bWZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 8, 2020
There are a few different factors at play in Lee’s remarks. Sen. Lee is expressing the frustration of many in the Legislative Branch over the constant disrespect being shown to them by the Trump administration. Sen. Lee’s statements show the constitutional friction between Trump’s executive power grab and Congress.
Lee suggesting that he is being pushed to introduce a war powers resolution limiting Trump’s power was not accidental. The House will be voting on such legislation on Thursday.
Fox News’s decision to cut Lee off shows that it is no longer just Republican or conservative propaganda. The network has changed to being Trump propaganda, and anyone who criticizes Donald Trump, Democrat or Republican, is at risk of having the plug pulled on them.
Sen. Lee was correct to be angry. Nothing less than war and peace are at stake in this conversation. Trump doesn’t get to tell Congress what they can and can’t do, and when a Republican speaks out against the president, Fox News cuts away from their remarks.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association