Paul: Airstrikes 'inappropriate way' to start a war

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTransparency advocate says government agencies face 'use it or lose it' spending Republicans need solutions on environment too Trio of NFL players intern on Capitol Hill as part of league program MORE (R-Ky.) on Saturday said President Trump’s airstrike on the Syrian regime is “an inappropriate way to begin a war,” and called on the president to let Congress vote on military action.

“My concern has been mostly that this is an inappropriate way to begin a war, that the Constitution says war begins with a vote in Congress,” he told CNN.

“I think this is a wrongheaded notion, that we just skip the most important step and that is whether or not we should go to war,” Paul later added.

ADVERTISEMENT

The senator, who has long criticized his hawkish colleagues in the Senate, also penned an op-ed in Breitbart on Friday, in which he called for “a thoughtful and honest discussion about the ramifications, authorization, and motivations for war.”

“While many Republicans fawned over this quality, they displayed remarkable cognitive dissonance when it came to applying it to a very public event the very day they approved the Gorsuch nomination,” Paul wrote, referencing the Friday confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Trump on Thursday ordered the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes on the Syrian regime’s airbase that is believed to be the launch site of Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack.

Paul has argued that Trump should come to Congress for an authorization to conduct strikes.

“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” he tweeted Thursday evening.

In the op-ed, the senator argued that lawmakers should be “originalists” for “legislative duties” by calling on Trump to come to Congress for a vote on future airstrikes.

“I salute and applaud my colleagues for their work to get him to the bench, and for the words they used attributing their vote to his views on the Constitution.

But I can’t say I don’t find it ironic that on the very day they did these things, they also turned a mostly blind eye to an illegal and unconstitutional military strike,” Paul wrote, referencing the vote on Gorsuch.