What Kentucky Congressmen are saying after U.S. launches missile strike in Syria

04/07/2017 01:38 PM

On Thursday night the United States carried out a strike against the government of Bashar al Assad in Syria launching more than 50 missiles from two Navy warships in the Mediterranean Sea.

Syria’s President Bashar al Assad’s office called the strike ordered by President Trump as “reckless, irresponsible behavior.” The Syrian government also calls the strike an “act of aggression.”

In Kentucky, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he supports the “action and objective” from the Trump administration.

“It was taken against the Shayrat airfield from which the aircraft used in the attack had been launched, where chemical weapons had been stored, and was taken against assets of importance to the regime — aircraft, hardened shelters, and air defense systems,” McConnell said of the missile strike from the floor of the Senate.

“This was an action of consequence,” McConnell continued. “It is a clear signal from America that Bashar al Assad can no longer use chemical weapons against his own people with impunity. Additionally, for the attention of all Senators, will have a briefing on this matter later today.”

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Sen. Rand Paul disagreed with the need to intervene in Syria in a statement sent Thursday evening following the missile launch.

“While we all condemn the atrocities in Syria, the United States was not attacked,” Paul said. “The President needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate. Our prior interventions in this region have done nothing to make us safer, and Syria will be no different.”

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg, agreed with Paul’s take on the need for an Authorization of Military Force from Congress in a posting on Facebook Friday afternoon.

“President Trump should have sought Congressional approval for so many reasons starting with “the #Constitution requires it,” Massie wrote.

Meanwhile, Kentucky’s lone federally elected Democratic Congressman, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, of Louisville, agreed with Trump’s decision to use force in Syria — yet he too called for authorization for force to come from Congress.

“I support President Trump’s response to the criminal and inhumane actions of the Assad regime in Syria,” Yarmuth said in a statement sent Friday. “I hope that Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell will move quickly to seek the congressional approval of yesterday’s action, so that the constitutional prerogatives of Congress’s war-making authority are asserted. No escalation of military activity in Syria or the region can proceed without explicit congressional approval.”

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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