Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called the War Powers Act “unconstitutional” during an interview Saturday on “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” and claimed Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., are wrong to support curbing President Trump‘s military authority.
“Congress has the power to declare war. That doesn’t mean the commander in chief can’t use military force to protect the country without Congress,” Graham told Jeanine Pirro. “We’ve had military engagements hundreds of times. What the president did is he took out [Gen. Qassem] Soleimani who was planning another attack against American forces in Iraq who were lawfully present. He has all the authority he needs to protect troops in the field.”
“The War Powers Act is blatantly unconstitutional,” he added. “You cannot have 535 commanders in chief. Can you imagine what our nation would look like if Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul, and AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez]… that we couldn’t defend the nation unless they all agree? That would be impossible.”
The resolution passed, 224-194, mostly along party lines, but both parties had some defectors: eight Democrats voted against the measure and three Republicans voted in favor of it. Independent Rep. Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party last year, also voted in favor of the measure.
Graham on Saturday also criticized Paul and Lee for opposing the drone strike that killed the Iranian earlier this month and said they are out of their depth on the issue.
“I like them both and if I had an eye problem I would call Rand Paul. He’s a great eye doctor but I would not ask him for commander in chief advice,” he said. “Mike Lee’s a great guy. But all I can tell you is that they’re so wrong. Their foreign policy is more like Bernie Sanders — less like Ronald Reagan, less like Donald Trump.”
“A commander in chief can use force to protect the nation, without 535 people signing on to it,” Graham added. “I said this when [Barack] Obama was president. I said it when [Bill] Clinton was president. If you don’t like what the commander in chief is doing, as a member of Congress, cut off funding. We have the power of the purse but we cannot make military decisions.”
Fox News Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report