Sen. Cory Gardner warned Thursday that President Donald Trump has a constitutional obligation to protect the United States from terrorism, and a vote on a war powers resolution that would limit those duties could prove dangerous to national security.
"Every senator taking this vote needs to ask the question, will a terrorist be more likely to attack if we are weak or divided, or will they be less likely to strike if they believe we are strong and united," the Colorado Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "Today's resolution will make the United States appear weak and divided should it succeed. That is not a recipe for defending the American people from terrorism."
Congress does have a constitutional role in declaring war and on oversight, and the president has the responsibility to consult and work with lawmakers, "but that doesn't mean the president should be unilaterally struck by Congress of the ability to protect this country from terrorism," said Gardner.
He added that many of his colleagues were outraged when Trump ordered the airstrike killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, but the late Iranian was a terrorist responsible for hundreds of American deaths.
Iran does not respect weakness, said Gardner, but the resolution will be seen as a sign of division that can be exploited.
"Any sign that the United States is weak, any sign that Congress is divided or trying to fight the president and his ability to take on the terrorists will ultimately lead to greater attacks and vulnerability," said Gardner.
Meanwhile, the United States is not at war with Iran, but against terrorism, and "we have the authority to take out terrorists and terrorist activities," Gardner added. " Congress has the power to declare war but the president has a constitutional obligation to protect us from terrorism. So let's not confuse the two issues."
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