GOP rep: US Constitution doesn't give president 'authority to strike Syria'

Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieSenate braces for Trump showdown over Chinese telecom giant Overnight Defense: Trump, Kim poised for historic summit | Trump blasts 'haters and losers' hours before meeting | Defense bill to include ZTE penalties | Lawmakers sound alarm over 'catastrophic' Yemen offensive Lawmakers circulate 'urgent call' for Mattis to prevent 'catastrophic' Yemen offensive MORE (R-Ky.) lashed out on Friday at President Trump's decision to launch "precision strikes" in Syria, saying the U.S. Constitution does not give the president the ability to authorize such an attack. 

"I haven’t read France’s or Britain’s 'Constitution,' but I’ve read ours and no where in it is Presidential authority to strike Syria," Massie tweeted.

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In criticizing Trump's decision, Massie joined a growing chorus of lawmakers — most of them Democrats — questioning the president's constitutional authority to launch an attack on a foreign country without congressional approval.

His comments came minutes after Trump announced that the U.S., France and the United Kingdom had begun military strikes in Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in a suburb of Damascus.

The U.S. and other Western countries have blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad for carrying out the chemical strike. Syria and its allies, Iran and Russia, have denied that the government used chemical weapons.

Trump announced earlier this week that he would consider a potential response to the chemical attack. That announcement prompted warnings from several lawmakers, who said the president needed to seek congressional authorization before he ordered any military action in Syria.