Inhofe Differs From OK Congressmen On Knowledge Of Syria Strike

Wednesday, April 12th 2017, 8:43 am
By: News 9

While Sen. Jim Inhofe does not have any public events planned over Easter break, he did sit down with News 9's Justin Dougherty.

The senator spoke on a number of issues, particularly U.S. and Russian relations. Inhofe got straight to the point on his thoughts with Russia and U.S. strikes against Syria. He likes that the Kremlin was notified before the strike, and he feels secrecy was key when the president issued the order.

When asked on President Trump’s call to Russia before the strikes Senator Inhofe said, “Yeah. I do (like it).” He went on to say, “Russia knows what we will not tolerate.”

Inhofe also praised Trump’s “element of surprise” with the attacks, saying the president didn’t want to tell the media in advance. Inhofe doesn’t take any issue with Trump not informing Congress of his intentions because “anything you take to Congress, the media is going to find out about it.”

But Inhofe’s stance on the lack of information the president provided to Congress differs from at least two Oklahoma congressmen.

Rep. Tom Cole applauded the president’s actions, but wrote in statement after the strikes, "Moving forward, the president should bring to Congress a clear and comprehensive strategy to protect American interests. In doing so, Congress should have a robust debate and provide the president with the authorization for the use of military force."

He said the president should also seek an AUMF.

Rep. Steve Russell issued a joint statement after the strikes with Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), saying in part, “Military action without clear goals and objectives gets us nowhere. We look forward to hearing the president present a plan for Syria to the American people” and for Congress to agree on bipartisan action.

Click here to watch the senator's entire interview.

Inhofe's team later said, while the senator did not mind that the president didn't call Congress before the strike, he does feel that if we were to take further action on Syria Congress would need to approve first.

They released the following statement on Inhofe's behalf: 

President Trump has authority as Commander in Chief to conduct limited actions in both scope and duration when vital national security interests are at stake. The United States has a vital interest to prevent and deter the use and spread of chemical weapons. The TLAM airstrike on a Syrian airfield was a limited, proportional, precision strike on targets directly related to the Assad regime’s heinous chemical attack on Syrian civilians. This was completely justified and appropriate. If President Trump determines that a strategy requiring a long-term commitment of the U.S. military in Syria is in our country’s best interest then he must come to Congress for approval.