|WASHINGTON – Rep. Mike Rogers, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, joined CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time yesterday to discuss Iran.
On Iran Missile Attack on U.S. Military Base:
“I think that’s the first indication by the president that he does plan to de-escalate. He recognizes that this was an intentional by the Iranians to hit near the air bases in an unpopulated area as a way to tell their domestic population we hit back, but do not across a line of killing Americans that they knew would in fact bring retaliation. So I think this is a good sign, both in the fact that they made the hits, the strikes that they did, and that the president is showing this optimistic measured tone in that tweet.”
On Further Military Force on Iran:
“I believe that this was intentional by the Iranians to make sure they didn’t kill Americans as a way to bring this to the end. I think the president recognized it and this is a time to start de-escalating and start getting into talks about how we can resolve our differences going forward.”
On Congress Statutory Authority:
“We have been stepping up. We gave the administration the 2002 AUMF that allowed the activities in Iraq that this President used to take out Soleimani. We have no need to go back and revisit that AUMF, we have, as you know, I’m one of the most senior members of the Armed Services Committee, we monitor on a regular, annual basis what happens over there, and if we choose to defer with the White House about there actions in the regions, we can cut off the money, and authorizations. We don’t do that. There is ongoing activities to monitor what’s taking place, but I don’t think an AUMF is necessary at this point in time.”
On President Trump’s Order to Kill Soleimani:
“Certainty, just like I was okay with the 2,000 drone strikes against terrorist that Obama had. He was a designated terrorist he was a lawful target, not only designated by us but by the United Nations. This was a very bad actor who killed over 600 Americans, who was the leader of many of the militia groups in Iraq. People need to be mindful. He was in Iraq in Baghdad when he was taken out, he was not in Iran, he was in Iraq, meeting with militia groups, planning another attack. He had organized and initiated the attack in December that killed an American contractor. This fellow needed to be killed, they had actionable intelligence where he was going to be meeting with one of the founders of Hezbollah and took him out. They did not have time in my view based on what I know to come to Congress to have a conference with the gang of eight, or whoever and I don’t think it would be appropriate to do that anyway.