Senate and House minority leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have moved away from their Democratic colleagues by endorsing President Donald Trump’s missile strike on Syria.
“Making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do,” Schumer said in a statement, ABC News reports.
“It is incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it. I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today,” Schumer added.
Pelosi had much of the same reaction, calling the Tomahawk missile strike ordered by Trump against the al-Shayrat military base in Syria a “proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons.”
The strike was conducted by two U.S. destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Thursday evening. The Pentagon notified Russians in advance of the strike using the deconfliction line of communications and attempted to avoid striking the area of the base where the Russians were believed to be stationed.
However, Pelosi added that if the president intends continued military action against Syria, he should ask Congress to pass an Authorization for Use of Military Force.
Other Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump for declining to seek permission from Congress for the strike, which took place in response to alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military at Idlib on Tuesday.
“If true, this is unconstitutional,” Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu said on Twitter.
In 2011, President Barack Obama ordered strikes against Libya without any kind of congressional approval.
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