NY Times's Haberman: Trump 'surprised' Iranian strike wasn't 'more of a unifying event'

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanNY Times's Haberman: Trump 'surprised' Iranian strike wasn't 'more of a unifying event' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington braces for public impeachment hearings The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — Buttigieg closes in on Biden, Warren in Iowa MORE said Friday morning that President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE "actually was surprised" his decision to take out Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani wasn't "a unifying event for the country.” 

Appearing on CNN, Haberman was asked by anchor John Berman if Trump was surprised that the House voted Thursday to limit his ability to go to war with Iran.

“He actually was surprised this was not more of a unifying event for the country, which is what he expected it was going to be," Haberman responded. "Something more along the lines of what you saw around the Iraq War lead-up." 

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"However, that lead-up came after a massive attack on U.S. soil," she continued. "It’s not remotely the same. It’s not as if Gen. Soleimani’s name rolls off of most voters’ tongues very easily." 

"Look, he’s not separating this from impeachment politics. This has roiled impeachment politics. He recognizes this is all related," Haberman added. "I think that he’s aware there’s questions about how legally binding this is, even if it goes to the Senate and it passes. But he does not want it highlighted that he is taking an act that could be seen as continuing these forever wars." 

Haberman underscored a speech by Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz in Twitter battle with Florida House Republican Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Conservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons MORE (R-Fla.), usually a staunch Trump supporter, that explained his decision to join House Democrats on the resolution restricting the president's war powers. 

"That speech from Matt Gaetz, the Republican who supports the president, on the floor yesterday was very, very important," Haberman said. "This is a president who ran against the Iraq War, ran as somebody who was going to get us out of the Middle East, who opposed George W. Bush’s use of intelligence [to justify a war]. And those are some of the same questions being raised about his administration right now.”

“Interesting. So that speech hit him where it hurts," Berman concluded. 

The resolution passed in a 224-194 vote Thursday evening, with only three Republicans supporting it: Gaetz and Reps. Thomas MassieThomas Harold Massie2 Democrats say they voted against war powers resolution 'because it merely restated existing law' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week NY Times's Haberman: Trump 'surprised' Iranian strike wasn't 'more of a unifying event' MORE (Ky.) and Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis Rooney2 Democrats say they voted against war powers resolution 'because it merely restated existing law' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week NY Times's Haberman: Trump 'surprised' Iranian strike wasn't 'more of a unifying event' MORE (Fla.). Eight Democrats voted against it.