Paul: US 'drifting away from' founders' desire that it be 'difficult to go to war'

Paul: US 'drifting away from' founders' desire that it be 'difficult to go to war'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCOVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition Pressley experiencing flu-like symptoms, being tested for COVID-19 Hoyer says House expects to pass coronavirus bill on Friday MORE (R-Ky.) said Sunday that Congress must re-assert its authority over whether or not the U.S. engages in acts of war in the wake of the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, saying the authority had slowly been usurped over several decades dating back to the Korean War.

Noting that the 2002 authorization for military force in Iraq had been invoked to defend Soleimani's killing, Paul told NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddRepublican senator: Trump's message on coronavirus recently has 'generally been better' De Blasio says April and May 'are going to be a lot worse' Colorado governor labels Trump 'socialist' over 'corporate bailouts' during coronavirus MORE, “I don’t think that’s what Congress meant in 2002, nor do I think one generation can bind another generation.”

Paul also said on "Meet the Press" that while he disagreed with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis Maduro pushes back on DOJ charges, calls Trump 'racist cowboy' House leaders hope to vote Friday on coronavirus stimulus MORE’s failure to brief Congress before the strike, “this is not a new trend, this started very aggressively with [President Harry] Truman in the Korean War,” also citing actions taken by President Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam and President Obama in the targeted killings of figures such as Osama bin Laden.

“I think presidents of both parties have been trying to usurp the authority that our founding fathers wanted to remain in Congress,” Paul said.

“They wanted to make it difficult to go to war and I think we’ve been drifting away from that for a long time, but that’s why I’m willing to stand up, not that I distrust President Trump but I’m willing to stand up even against a president of my party because we need to stand up and take back the power.”

Paul also said he would soon be arranging a hearing on documents published by The Washington Post indicating U.S. military commanders privately acknowledged lack of progress in Afghanistan and little hope for the future.

“It troubles me that in private commanders and generals have been saying for decades that there’s no mission in Afghanistan,” he said.

Paul and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeTrump on Romney's negative coronavirus test: 'I am so happy I can barely speak' Romney says he tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in quarantine Paul defends actions before coronavirus diagnosis, calls for more testing MORE (R-Utah) earlier this month sharply criticized a briefing by administration representatives on the intelligence justifying Soleimani’s killing, with Lee calling the briefing “insulting” and the two saying they will support a resolution that passed the House reining in the president’s war powers.