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White House sends Congress formal notification of Soleimani strike

The White House has formally notified Congress of the U.S. strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, according to a Saturday statement from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE's (D-Calif.) office.

The 1973 War Powers Act requires the president to notify Congress of the "circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces" within 48 hours. 

The Speaker reacted to the notification saying that the entirety of the of the information conveyed was classified and that she believes it "raises more questions than it answers."

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"This document prompts serious and urgent questions about the timing, manner and justification of the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran," she said. 

"The highly unusual decision to classify this document in its entirety compounds our many concerns, and suggests that the Congress and the American people are being left in the dark about our national security," the top House Democrat continued. 

A senior Democratic aide told The Hill on Saturday that it was not clear whether the White House would send Congress anything unclassified. 

The notification was first reported by The Washington Post on Saturday. 

The Pentagon announced this week that Soleimani had been killed in a U.S. strike bear Baghdad International Airport.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoIt will be Vice (or) President Harris against Gov. DeSantis in 2024 — bet on it DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Pompeo not ruling out 2024 White House bid MORE has said that the action was in response to an "imminent threat to American lives" and President TrumpDonald TrumpUS, South Korea reach agreement on cost-sharing for troops Graham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Biden nominates female generals whose promotions were reportedly delayed under Trump MORE has said it was done to “to stop a war.”

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“What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved,” Trump said on Friday. “We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war.”

Pelosi, meanwhile, has criticized the strike as something that could provoke "further dangerous escalation of violence" and has said that Congress was not consulted in advance. 

She said in the statement on Saturday that the "provocative, escalatory and disproportionate military engagement continues to put service members, diplomats and citizens of America and our allies in danger."

Pelosi also reiterated a past call for a briefing of Congress. 

"The Administration must work with the Congress to advance a bonafide de-escalatory strategy that prevents further violence,” she said. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats near pressure point on nixing filibuster  We need a voting rights workaround Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.) has said he was working on setting up a classified briefing for all senators

Updated at 8:36 p.m.