60 elected congressmen from the House of Representatives have just sent Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a letter saying President Trump is “irresponsible and dangerous” to U.S. national security interests, particularly concerning his recent statements on North Korea.
The group of lawmakers, ironically, sent the letter just before Trump gave a news conference from his National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey where he doubled down on his previous comments, thereby upping the rhetoric against North Korea.
“That ‘fire and fury statement’ may not have been tough enough.”
A reporter then asked him: “What would be tougher than fire and fury?” Trump replied: “Well, you’ll see, you’ll see.”
Trump followed that up with another question on whether or not he would consider negotiations with the regime:
“Sure, we’ll always consider negotiations. But, they’ve been negotiating now for 25 years. Look at Clinton, he folded on the negotiations. He was weak and ineffective. Look at Bush, look what happened with Obama. Obama, he didn’t even want to talk about it. But, I talk. It’s about time – somebody has to do it.”
Trump continued on:
“And, I’ll tell you this, if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love, or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous. And, they should be nervous. Cause things will happen to them that they never thought possible.”
Senator Lindsey Graham say’s that Trump personally told him that Trump is prepared to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea, even without them launching an attack first.
“If negotiations fail, he is willing to abandon strategic patience and use pre-emption. I think he’s there mentally. He has told me this,” Graham said. “So I’m 100 percent confident that if President Trump had to use military force to deny the North Koreans the capability to strike America with a nuclear-tipped missile, he would do that. And he’s going to listen to sound military advice, but he’s made a decision in his own mind not to let that happen on his watch.”
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said Trump didn’t have the authority to do that, and must first go through congress, stirring the debate even further.
“If one of the military options that the administration is looking at is a preemptive war on the Korean peninsula launched by the United States, that would require the authorization of Congress,” Sullivan told Fox News.
“Article I of the U.S. Constitution is very clear about that.”
Here’s part of the letter the 60 congressmen released in response to Trump’s statements:
“We write to express our profound concern over the statements made by President Trump that dramatically increased tensions with North Korea and raised the specter of nuclear war. These statements are irresponsible and dangerous, and also senselessly provide a boon to domestic North Korean propaganda which has long sought to portray the United States as a threat to their people.
Accordingly, we respectfully but firmly urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that President Trump and other Administration officials understand the importance of speaking and acting with the utmost caution and restraint on this delicate issue. Congress and the American public will hold President Trump responsible if careless or ill-advised miscalculation results in conflict that endangers our service members and regional allies. To allay these concerns, the Trump Administration should publicly declare its agreement with the constitutional requirement that any preemptive attack on North Korea must be debated and authorized by Congress.
As 64 Member of Congress wrote in May, “Military action against North Korea was considered by the Obama, Bush and Clinton Administrations, but all ultimately determined there was no military option that would not run the unacceptable risk of a counter-reaction by the Pyongyang (that) could immediately threaten the lives of as many as a third of the South Korean population, put nearly 30,000 U.S. service members and over 100,000 U.S. citizens residing in South Korea in grave danger, and also threaten other regional allies such as Japan.” Simply put, there is no military option to this problem.”