“If you look at the rhetoric now compared to the days when they were signing [the 2015 nuclear deal], where it was always ‘death to America, death to America, we will destroy America, we will kill America,’ I’m not hearing that too much anymore,” Trump told Time. “And I don’t expect to.”
Still, to the alarm of Democrats and some Republicans, Pompeo has suggested that if the administration does take military action, it might rely on the 2001 congressional bill that greenlighted America’s military response to the 9/11 attacks to strike Iran. Asked Sunday by CBS host Margaret Brennan whether the administration believed it had the authority to initiate military action, Pompeo would say only, “Every option we look at will be fully lawful.”
And Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a close ally of the administration, urged the president to attack Iran outright — adding that he didn’t need permission from Congress. “Unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike,” Cotton told Brennan. “The president has the authorization to act to defend American interests,” he said.