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Video: On “Face the Nation,” Sen. Tim Kaine Says “We felt that the evidence was far short of ‘imminent threat'”

Kaine: "So many members of Congress, what they want to do is hide under their desk"

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According to Sen. Tim Kaine, on “Face the Nation” this morning:

  • Kaine was NOT aware that there was “any kind of threat” to U.S. embassies, as claimed by the Trump administration as justification for its killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani – “that was NOT told to us in the classified briefing, nor was there a suggestion that multiple embassies were threatened, and I think that was one of the reasons that the Senators in the briefing were so unhappy. We felt that the evidence was far short of ‘imminent threat’.” We were mad that they were so dismissive of the notion that Congress would have anything to do with questions of war and peace.”
  • Kaine: “We also thought the administration was very cavalier about the Iraqi…resolution of parliament that the U.S. should leave. They were sort of like, oh that’s just the way the Iraqis talk…”
  • Kaine: “Bottom line is, the constitution makes really plain, it’s Congress that gets to make the decision about whether to go to war…a president can act unilaterally to defend against an ongoing attack or an imminent threat, but if it’s more than that, it’s supposed to be for Congress…”
  • Kaine: “I have been working on this since I came to the Senate…I criticized President Obama for taking us into military action in Libya without Congressional authorization…When I started on this crusade 6-7 years ago, very few people were interested in it. But in the last year, the good news is, finally, members of both parties…have started to step up and take the Congressional responsibility seriously. I do think we have to rewrite and redo the 2001 authorization…to wage war against non-state terrorist groups that are connected to the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.”
  • Kaine: “So many members of Congress, what they want to do is hide under their desk, let the president just do whatever the president wants, and then they think they can escape accountability for the consequences of war. It’s time to go back to what the Framers envisioned. We shouldn’t send our best and brightest into harm’s way if Congress doesn’t have the guts to have a debate and have a vote.”