Congressional staffers had planned to ask questions about the shifting explanations and wanted to receive a global threat assessment for U.S. personnel.
FBI officials had been expected to brief a group of House lawmakers on counterintelligence issues related to Iran on Wednesday in a separate closed-door session but those plans also changed at the last moment, according to two sources familiar with the planning. The reason for the cancellation remains unclear but the briefing was added to the calendar late last week, one of the sources said.
– The Trump administration has canceled three classified briefings scheduled for lawmakers on the situation with Iran
– The move comes amid questions about the president’s justification for killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani
– The last round of administration briefings ended with lawmakers furious over a lack of candor by Trump administration officials
– Additionally, Senate Democrats said they have enough support to pass a war powers resolution to limit Trump’s ability to use a military response to Iran
“It does seem to be a contradiction. He’s telling Laura Ingraham [about imminent attacks], but in a 75-minute classified briefing, your top national security people never mentioned this to members of Congress. Why not?” Wallace asked O’Brien on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I wasn’t at the briefing, and I don’t know how the Q&A went back and forth. Sometimes it depends on the questions that were asked or how they were phrased,” O’Brien said.
Esper said that he was not in the room briefing the top intelligence lawmakers, but said he spoke to one of the briefers afterward.
“His assessment was …
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard lays out her views on the Iran crisis especially with her military experience, and her thoughts on the requirements to qualify for the January debate.
Graham told reporters on Wednesday that he thought Paul and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) were „overreacting“ by criticizing comments made during a closed-door Iran briefing.
„They’re libertarians,“ Graham said. „I think they’re overreacting, quite frankly. Go debate all you want to. I’m going to debate you. Trust me, I’m going to let people know that at this moment in time to play this game with the war powers act … whether you mean to or not, you’re empowering the enemy.“
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that no lives were lost after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. and coalition forces overnight. Trump said the U.S. would add new sanctions on Iran, but seemed to seek de-escalation. Meanwhile, Trump and his advisers are facing more pressure to provide justification for the airstrike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Soleimani. Senators and congressmembers found a Wednesday intelligence briefing to be wholly insufficient.
Die Regierung habe in der vertraulichen Sitzung in einem abhörsicheren Raum im Kongress kaum Beweise für die Behauptung vorgelegt, dass mit dem Luftangriff ein unmittelbar bevorstehender Angriff verhindert worden sei, erklärte der Senator aus dem US-Bundesstaat Utah, Mike Lee.
Die Regierung habe die Senatoren aufgefordert, „gute kleine Jungs und Mädchen zu sein, einfach mitzulaufen und das nicht öffentlich infrage zu stellen“, sagte der sichtlich verärgerte Lee, der nicht als Kritiker seines Parteifreundes Präsident Donald Trump bekannt ist.
The classified notification was sent under a 1973 U.S. law called the War Powers Act, which requires the administration to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action or imminent actions.
Two sources tell CNN that key Senate staff on relevant committees on national security and appropriations, along with leadership staff, will be briefed Friday afternoon in a classified setting by administration officials.
A congressional source confirmed that Senate staff will get a „top-secret level“ briefing about the situation in northeast Syria. Katie Wheelbarger, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security affairs, will take the lead on briefing staffers.
A Democratic aide added that House staff will be briefed separately on Tuesday
The Afghan Taliban denied any responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabiullah Mojahid saying they condemn the suicide attack on civilians.
The venue is in western Kabul, an area home to many of Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazara minority. It is also near the Darul Aman palace, where President Ashraf Ghani is expected to celebrate Afghan Independence Day on Monday.
Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, said on Sunday the Taliban could not escape blame for the “barbaric” suicide bomb attack.
“The Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame for they provide platform for terrorists,” Ghani said in a post on Twitter.
President Donald Trump was briefed on Friday by top national security advisers on the status of negotiations with the Taliban on a US troop pullout from Afghanistan and the potential for a political settlement between the warring sides.
There was no indication that any conclusions were reached at the session, which took place in a secure conference room at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Written in the frenzied, emotional days after 9/11, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force was intended to give President Bush the ability to retaliate against whoever orchestrated the attacks. But more than 12 years later, this sentence remains the primary legal justification for nearly every covert operation around the world. Here’s how it came to be, and what it’s since come to mean.
In 2001, Congress passed an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), allowing the president “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons.”
Which means that if the Trump administration truly believes Iran and al-Qaeda have been in cahoots before or after 9/11, then it could claim war with Tehran already is authorized by law.
Early Thursday morning, the House Armed Services Committee debated the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act …
As the Trump administration ratchets up tensions with Iran, escalating fears that the United States is looking for a possible path to another war in the Middle East, several Democratic presidential contenders are standing firm in their rejection of the White House’s attempts to create a legal rationale for war. They were responding to comments Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made in a private meeting that suggested that the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, passed by Congress three days after 9/11 could provide a legal basis for a war with Iran.
Debate over the threat posed by Iran took on a partisan hue after Trump administration officials briefed lawmakers Tuesday, with Democrats charging that the White House is blowing normal threat levels out of proportion and Republicans insisting that deterrence, not war, is the goal.
House Democrats have invited former CIA director and frequent Trump critic John Brennan to brief them on the situation in Iran.
Brennan is scheduled to speak at the party’s weekly caucus meeting Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Wendy Sherman, a former State Department official who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal under President Barack Obama, was also invited.
The meeting will take place the same day Trump administration officials will update lawmakers on escalating tensions between the two countries. Democrats will likely attend both briefings.
The former defence secretary is being urged by friends to table a Parliamentary motion demanding a new investigation, which would almost certainly be backed by opposition parties and a number of Tory MPs.
He is also weighing up whether to engineer his own “Geoffrey Howe moment” by making a speech in the Commons that could hasten Theresa May’s downfall, in the same way that the former deputy PM triggered the leadership contest that ended Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
He said that police had not been provided with evidence by the Cabinet Office that a crime has been committed and no crime had been alleged by the “owner of the material”.
According to various reports citing government sources, Mr Williamson had told fellow Tories Mrs May’s health makes her unfit to be prime minister.
A Downing Street source said the briefings did not come from No 10.
Meanwhile, there will be no criminal investigation into the affair – after the government refused to refer it to the police, despite experts warning of a breach of the Official Secrets Act.
Ms May was asked three times if she would bow to Mr Williamson’s request to be handed a copy of the conclusions reached by Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser, but refused to budge.
As the latest scandal to rock Theresa May’s government engulfed Westminster for a second day;
– Labour chiefs united with some Tory MPs to demand a police probe is mounted to get to the bottom of what happened.
– Mr Williamson said he would personally welcome a criminal investigation as the only was to “clear” his name.
FT Whitehall correspondent Sebastian Payne on the reasons why Gavin Williamson became the first UK cabinet minister in a generation to be fired following a leak inquiry.
Gavin Williamson has been refused a copy of the report of the investigation which claimed he leaked secrets from the National Security Council, The Independent has learnt.
The former defence secretary believes that the release of the report will prove the weakness of the case against him which led to his firing.
The British government needed to investigate the disclosure of secret information relating to Chinese telecoms company Huawei because it came from a classified intelligence briefing, the prime minister’s spokesman said on Thursday.
„I am very unnerved by what I’m hearing and seeing,“ said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, who said the briefing on the strikes made him more worried, not less. The administration is „going down a dangerous path“ with regards to Syria, he said, without offering details.
Mattis, Dunford, Brief Press Regarding Syria Strike DC, UNITED STATES 04.13.2018 Courtesy Video DoD News