Durbin Urged Mattis Get Congressional Clearance On Syria Airstrikes

Apr 16, 2018

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said he would have preferred President Trump get congressional clearance before attacking Syria’s Assad regime Friday. 

Durbin said he urged Secretary of Defense James Mattis to have Congress involved in the decision.

“I said I think the constitution requires it," he said, adding that he worries this will not be a one-time situation, requiring additional military involvement.

"If this turns out to be complex, I don’t want to see our men and women in the military subjected to the criticism that they didn’t have the American people behind them when they went forward.” 

Durbin told reporters Sunday in Springfield, that ultimately, Trump made the right choice to attack alongside France and Great Britain. He said he hopes this will send Assad a message. But it doesn’t guarantee an end to his use of chemical weapons, attacks on civilians or the war in Syria.

Durbin also cautioned the use of social media when dealing with military tactics. He did so in reference to Trump's tweets last Wednesday, where he tweeted about Russia with a heads-up on a possible U.S.-led missile attack on Syria. Durbin said this use of social media could have dire consequences.

“If you do that, it diminishes the impact and makes it more dangerous for America. And yet this president with his daily tweets has thrown caution to the wind. But certainly to risk the lives of American troops is unacceptable.”