May 16, 2019

VIDEO: Tammy Duckworth Questions Why President Trump is Empowering John Bolton to Push Our Nation into Conflict with Iran


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — As the Trump Administration seeks to escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) raised questions about why the Trump Administration has failed to share the latest intelligence assessment involving Iran with the U.S. Senate as well as American allies. During interviews with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Duckworth called for a classified intelligence briefing to be offered to all 100 Senators as soon as possible. Duckworth also questioned whether President Trump is really involved in the latest provocative actions and whether it is his staff, such as National Security Advisor John Bolton, who are “driving the train” towards a war with Iran to achieve regime change. Duckworth emphasized that only Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war or authorize use of military force, neither of which Congress has done regarding Iran.

Key Quotes:

“It's very hard to square when I've not received any type of an intelligence analysis or briefing from the administration. You know I was just in Iraq less than three weeks ago and certainly I did not get any briefings on the ground there that indicated that there was any type of increased risk from Iran.


“Unfortunately, I don’t trust a lot of what’s coming out of the White House, which is why I am asking for a briefing. Listen, Congress is the only branch that has the ability to declare war. We deserve to get this information and it really is troubling to me that they say, ‘well this information exists. We’re pulling out our U.S. personnel from our embassies’ but our allies are not! So are you telling me that we’re not sharing this important information with our allies and we’re leaving them in the lurch?


“If such intelligence exists, then they need to brief the Members of Congress ... I know the President is not very keen on listening to intelligence briefings, but I am. I take my job very seriously. So come on, give me this briefing. In a bipartisan way, the members here in the Senate have called for such a briefing and yet we still have not received one.


“I don’t trust Mr. Bolton. I think he’s driving the train on this, I don’t think Mr. Trump is. It’s sad because that’s our commander-in-chief. I think Mr. Bolton is the one who is driving this escalation and it frankly is terrifying and deeply concerning to me that someone who is not elected by the American people is making these key decisions and pushing us towards greater and greater escalation. Again, if this truly exists, then share the information with the Senate. Let me see those estimates. And if they truly exist and there’s a real threat, then why are you not sharing this with our allies who are in the region?”

Videos of the full interviews are available here and here.