McConnell says Senate will receive classified briefing on Soleimani killing

McConnell says Senate will receive classified briefing on Soleimani killing
© Greg Nash
 
"We're working to arrange a classified briefing for all senators early next week," McConnell said from the Senate floor.
 
McConnell said that staff is starting to get briefed by the administration on Friday, and that he has already spoken to Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperTrump: 'I don't think we'll have to' send military to cities House chairman presses Pentagon leaders on use of military against DC protesters Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief says he opposes invoking Insurrection Act for protests | White House dodges on Trump's confidence in Esper | 'Angry and appalled' Mattis scorches Trump MORE. He did not specify if his conversation took place before or after the air strike, and did not respond to a question from reporters after his speech.
 
The GOP leader threw his support behind the strike, saying that "Iran's master terrorist is dead." 
 
"I'm encouraged by the steps the U.S. military is taking to defend American personnel and interests from a growing Iranian threat," McConnell said. 
 
Trump's decision to kill Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who led the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and was viewed as the mastermind of Iran’s military and intelligence operations, has sparked a fierce debate on Capitol Hill about the administration's authority to carry out the strike. 
 
McConnell urged lawmakers to wait until they have been briefed before taking a position, while noting the airstrike "may prove controversial or divisive."
 
"I anticipate and welcome a debate about America's interest in foreign policy in the Middle East. I recommend that all senators wait to review the facts and hear from the administration before passing much public judgement on this operation and its potential consequences," McConnell said.
 
House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi scoffs at comparison between Trump and Churchill: 'I think they're hallucinating' Republicans stand by Esper after public break with Trump Pelosi joins protests against George Floyd's death outside Capitol MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the strike took place without an authorization for use of military force against Iran and "without the consultation of the Congress."
 
The Pentagon confirmed late Thursday that the president had ordered a strike against Soleimani. It described the decision as a “decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad.”
 
Trump defended the strike on Friday, saying that Soleimani “should have been taken out many years ago” and that he was “indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people.”
 
Updated: 1:10 p.m.