Their goal is to make Trump side with his national security adviser, John Bolton, and overrule Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who argued for a more cautious approach.
Led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Tex), the lawmakers — who typically cheer Trump’s foreign policy moves — expect that Trump will disappoint them when he rolls out new Iran sanctions Friday. The State Department has scheduled a Friday morning call on the subject. Refusing to be associated with a policy he opposes, Bolton dropped off the call, during which Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will brief reporters, according to two sources familiar with the conversations. An NSC spokesman declined to comment on internal deliberations.
The legislation, which Cruz is expected to introduce in the weeks following the midterm election, and which is likely to be cosponsored by two other leading GOP foreign policy hawks — Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) —will press Trump to cut off several Iranian banks from the global banking network known as SWIFT, an acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which banks worldwide use for international transactions. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) is expected to drop a companion bill in the House.