GOP rep: Trump needs to retaliate against Iran to deter other hostile nations

GOP rep: Trump needs to retaliate against Iran to deter other hostile nations
© Greg Nash

The top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE must retaliate quickly against Iran to deter other hostile nations like North Korea and Russia from taking “provocative” acts toward the U.S.

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: 8chan owner defends platform before Congress | Facebook launches dating feature | New York City sues T-Mobile | Top NSA cyber official names ransomware as 2020 threat | Blue Dog Dems urge action on election security 8chan owner defends platform in testimony before Congress Conservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe MORE (R-Ala.) said that Trump already has the authority to launch strikes against Iran for shooting down a U.S. military drone this week and does not need to seek approval from Congress.

Trump “did consult with Congress as he was trying to decide what action to take, but when you have a country like Iran shoot down an American drone in international air space, I don’t think we need to have three months of argument in the Congress to decide what needs to be done,” Rogers said during an appearance on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”

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“We have him as a commander in chief to make decisions like this. I don’t care if it's a Republican or Democrat; I felt the same way about Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama meets with Greta Thunberg: 'One of our planet's greatest advocates' Trump: Cokie Roberts 'never treated me nicely' but 'was a professional' Obama, Bush among those paying tribute to Cokie Roberts: 'A trailblazing figure' MORE when he was president.”

“Now if we are going to get into a long-term war, it’s a different story,” Rogers added. “But he needs to take action in a quick manner. Whether it’s sanctions or a kinetic attack, he needs to make that call, but there has to be a response."

“Otherwise you’re going to see countries like North Korea, China and Russia becoming much more provocative in their actions toward us if they know we’re going to be paralyzed and unable to respond,” Rogers said.

Trump tweeted earlier Friday that the U.S. military was “cocked and loaded” and that he gave the green light to launch strikes against Iran. But the president said he abruptly called off the attack Thursday night because he feared the loss of life would not be “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”

Democrats, including Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalPelosi woos progressives on prescription drug pricing plan Democrats ignore Asian American and Pacific Islander voters at their peril Overnight Health Care: Watchdog details severe trauma suffered by separated children | Judge approves B CVS-Aetna merger | House Dem Caucus chair backs 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Wash.) and Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeMarijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Overnight Health Care: Planned Parenthood to leave federal family planning program absent court action | Democrats demand Trump withdraw rule on transgender health | Cummings, Sanders investigate three drug companies for 'obstructing' probe MORE (D-Calif.), have called on Trump to request a new authorization of use of military force (AUMF) from Congress before striking back at Iran.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP struggles with retirement wave Trump touts Washington Post story on GOP support Pence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks MORE (R-Calif.) and other Trump allies say the president has authority to act under the AUMF that Congress passed in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that granted presidents broad discretion to use force to combat terrorists.

McCarthy and other GOP leaders have called for a “measured” response, a point echoed by Rogers.

“There has to be some response to that provocative act, unprovoked act. But it does need to be measured, and that’s what the president is trying to decide now is whether it needs to be a kinetic strike like what was being planned or something in the way of other diplomatic approaches to put pressure on them,” Rogers said.

“I don’t know what his thinking is, but I do think he is going to make some response.”

Rogers, who also serves on the House Armed Services Committee, also lamented the imminent resignation of acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE.

This week, Shanahan decided to drop out of his confirmation process to permanently lead the Pentagon over domestic violence incidents involving his son, his wife and himself.

Rogers said it is “not helpful” to have acting secretaries leading the Pentagon, especially at a time when there are escalating conflicts with Iran and North Korea, and thousands of migrants are showing up on the southern border.

“I was concerned before this change that Secretary Shanahan was in an acting role. This is the largest organization on the planet; they need a confirmed secretary leading it,” Rogers said.

“I’m also very disappointed that Secretary Shanahan is resigning. He is a first-notch, top notch secretary, very competent, doing a great job, and I think it’s awful that he’s had to pull back to protect his family from what he was going through,” Rogers continued.

“We don’t need to have these acting secretaries in charge of these large organizations. It’s just not helpful at all." 

The interview with Rogers will air on C-SPAN at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.