Full Senate briefing on Iran scheduled for Tuesday

Full Senate briefing on Iran scheduled for Tuesday
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The full Senate is scheduled to be briefed Tuesday on the Trump administration's plans in Iran, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Thursday.

Chairman Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischWhy the US should rely more on strategy, not sanctions Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Senators blast Turkey's move to convert Hagia Sophia back into a mosque MORE (R-Idaho), who helped organize the briefing, would not confirm whether Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHouse panel halts contempt proceedings against Pompeo after documents turned over Outgoing ambassador to China slams Beijing over coronavirus: 'Could have been contained in Wuhan' Hillicon Valley: FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers MORE and acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanHouse Armed Services chairman expresses confidence in Esper amid aircraft carrier coronavirus crisis Boeing pleads for bailout under weight of coronavirus, 737 fallout Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January MORE will be the administration officials briefing the lawmakers.

Senators have been demanding a briefing on the intelligence behind moves such as the ordered departure of nonemergency staff at U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq and the deployment of additional military assets to the Middle East, and the Trump administration’s further plans for Iran.

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The so-called Gang of Eight — congressional leadership and leaders of the Intelligence committees — are scheduled to be briefed Thursday afternoon, and some individual lawmakers have also been briefed. But lawmakers have said the situation is serious enough to demand all of Congress receives a briefing.

The deployments and embassy evacuation have raised concerns that the risk of war with Iran is escalating. President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE on Thursday said he hopes there is not war with Iran.

The Trump administration has said there have been increased threats from Iran to U.S. personnel but has not specified the nature of the threats.

Risch, who himself has been briefed, said Thursday that public reporting on Iran moving missiles by boat does not show the whole picture, but he did not elaborate on other threats.

“I would strongly caution everyone not to grab onto that and say, ‘Ah-ha, this is it,’ ” Risch said. “That is the tip of the iceberg. When these situations are assessed, it is not a single item that moves the needle. It is a conglomerate of things and a wide spectrum of reporting, information and methods.”