Senator Accuses Trump of 'Raising Middle Finger at Congress' Over Threat of 'Disproportionate' Response If Iran Strikes U.S.

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) accused Donald Trump of "raising his middle finger at Congress" after the president warned Iran that any retaliatory strikes against the U.S. will trigger a "disproportionate" military response.

Trump warned Iran in a tweet on Sunday against launching retaliatory strikes over the killing of their top General Qassem Soleimani, which the U.S. president authorized late last week.

"These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner," he tweeted. "Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!"

The media posts Trump cited in the statement appears to be in reference to his latest tweets on the matter. Democratic lawmakers and the president's critics have condemned him for failing to brief top congressional leaders, often referred to as the Gang-of-Eight, of his decision to kill Soleimani until after the attack.

In response, Senator Michael Bennet appeared on CNN Sunday and declared that Trump's tweet was like "raising a middle finger" to Congress.

"You know, I hate to say this, but I think it's President Trump raising his middle finger at the Congress," Bennet said. "You think about the context in which all of this is happening. 20 years of war in Afghanistan where we now know from reporters of the Washington Post that after the first six months, we basically accomplished nothing that we were set out to try to accomplish."

"When the War College writes a report of the Iraq war and says, Iran was the winner of the Iraq war," he continued. "For us now to be sending 3,500 troops to the Middle East without taking account of what we've been doing the last 20 years on the basis of the president's impetuous, uninformed, weak conditions creates a lot of peril."

Although Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has attempted to defend Trump's actions in-relation to Iran by claiming that they have made Americans safer, Bennet challenged the assertion. "It's hard to see how we've been made more safe by the decisions this president has made," he said.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Trump's tweet on Sunday came after he shared another one earlier that morning warning Iran that the U.S. military will deploy "brand new beautiful equipment" to the country "without hesitation" if they chose to retaliate. On Saturday, the president also said he'd "hit them harder than they have ever been hit before" if they attack American targets.

Michael Bennet
2020 US Democratic Presidential hopeful US Senator for Colorado Michael Bennet speaks on-stage during the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco, California on August 23, 2019. Josh Edelson/Getty
Senator Accuses Trump of 'Raising Middle Finger at Congress' Over Threat of 'Disproportionate' Response If Iran Strikes U.S. | Politics