Iran is taking actions in the Middle East that are "totally unacceptable," but the United States is reaching a point comparable with the beginnings of the Iraq War if President Donald Trump and some in his administration are not cautious, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., warned Thursday.
"I think we're reaching a Gulf moment if we're not careful," Durbin told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It's clear the Iranians are doing things in the Middle East that are totally unacceptable. They may do something that's provocative that involves an American serviceman for example that this president or [National Security Adviser] John Bolton will use to move forward with more military action. I think that's a serious mistake."
Durbin also said the authorization of force law that was enacted after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 was not intended to "include the invasion of every country in the Middle East," but was clearly in response to the attacks, and the Senate must demand its constitutional right to declare war, if that time comes.
"We are going to have to force the issue," Durbin said. "I don't believe that this administration is going to come to us hat in hand asking for permission. The notion that John Bolton believes we should start talking about 110,000 military, I think is reprehensible and completely inconsistent with what this president promised during his campaign."
Durbin said he and other lawmakers want a briefing from the White House so they can see in detail what intelligence is being considered concerning Iran, and he hopes the meeting does not come too late.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the Trump administration plans to hold a classified briefing on Iran for the "Gang of Eight " lawmakers but has refused requests to brief the full House.
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