Democratic lawmaker says Trump 'doesn't have full command' on Iran

Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoOne lawmaker gets engaged, another married around Valentine's Day Stage production 'Americano!' tells the life and struggles of a 'Dreamer' Democratic lawmaker says Trump 'doesn't have full command' on Iran MORE (D-Ariz.) said Thursday in an interview with Hill.TV that Congress needs to pass a war powers resolution because President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again.' Poll: Sanders leads 2020 Democratic field with 28 percent, followed by Warren and Biden More than 6 in 10 expect Trump to be reelected: poll MORE “clearly doesn’t have full command of the issues” when it comes to Iran policy.

“It’s a very scary time that we’re dealing with right now, because the president clearly doesn’t have full command of the issues, and that’s how we ended up in this situation, which I still think could spiral out of control,” said Gallego, a Marine Corps veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Trump moved to de-escalate tensions with Iran on Wednesday after Tehran launched attacks on two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. The missile strikes did not result in any American casualties, Trump said during remarks from the White House.

But Gallego argued that the Trump administration's actions may help Iran accomplish its objective of weakening U.S. influence in Iraq.

“We are in not a great situation if you actually think about the geopolitical goals of Iran -- one of them is certainty for us to get us pushed out of Iraq,” he added.

Gallego said that last week's killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani galvanized Iraqis against the presence of U.S. forces in the country shortly after widespread protests.

“In Soleimani’s death, we may have accomplished Iran’s strategic goals. And I think that, in the end, is one of the biggest tragedies,” he added.

Gallego also addressed Wednesday's briefing by Trump administration officials that prompted the ire of Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' The 8 Republicans who voted to curb Trump's Iran war powers MORE (R-Utah). Lee called the briefing “insulting,” saying it did not settle lingering questions about the intelligence that led to the U.S. strike ordered by Trump that killed Soleimani.

“There is nothing that I’d heard before, or nothing that I’d read today, that told me there was an imminent threat for us to take such a risk by taking out Soleimani and at the same time, violating the Constitution and starting a war without the consent of Congress,” Gallego said.

--Zack Budryk