On Thursday, CNN reported that members of Congress in both parties are frustrated with President Donald Trump’s administration over the haphazard, disjointed way officials have briefed them on the standoff with Iran.
According to CNN, some members have been briefed, including Senate Foreign Relations chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) and subcomittee leader Mitt Romney (R-UT), but not Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who oversee appropriation for the State Department, or House Foreign Affairs chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY).
“I think they should tell us what the hell is going on,” said Graham, usually a cheerleader for the president, in discussion with CNN. “I’m tired of being asked questions, which is your job — I’m not mad at y’all guys. I don’t know what to tell you … I’m just frustrated they can’t pick up a phone and tell us — particularly me and Sen. Leahy, because we are in charge of embassy and consulate security. This is a mistake.”
Engel is similarly frustrated. “I think that Congress should have been briefed about it so that we didn’t have to read about it in newspaper and television accounts, and I think the administration should give us a classified briefing as soon as possible,” he said.
In recent weeks, tensions with Iran have escalated as the government has moved to pull out of certain obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which Trump decided not to honor last year. Trump’s top officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, have agitated for a military option, although Trump himself reportedly is angry at how they are escalating matters.