0649 GMT April 02, 2020
Rep. Matt Gaetz pushed his fellow Republicans to buck US President Donald Trump and vote in support of the Iran war powers resolution, aimed at curbing the president's clout in taking military action, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reported that Gaetz's office had sent an email to all Republican offices Thursday, urging them to vote in favor of the resolution, which the president and his team were lobbying his party to vote against. That attempt to convince other Republicans, along with his own vote, made Gaetz the subject of Trump's fury, the Post and CNN reported.
"We will be voting in favor of H. Con. Res. 83, and hope you will do the same!" Gaetz's legislative director wrote in an email obtained by the Post.
Gaetz has been a strong Trump supporter and a fierce defender of the president, including in the impeachment inquiry.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday that Trump told associates he was not very happy with Gaetz's vote, but it is not expected to have a lasting impact on their relationship.
Trump has been facing impeachment for abusing his power as the president of the United States.
New reports suggest that Trump told associates that he assassinated Iran's top military leader last week in part to appease Republican senators who will play a crucial role in his Senate impeachment trial, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
In a lengthy piece detailing how the president's top advisers coalesced behind the strike on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the Journal reported that Trump had told associates he felt pressure from the senators.
One of Trump's most outspoken supporters, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, appears to be the only congressional lawmaker Trump briefed about his plan to assassinate General Soleimani in the days leading up to the strike.
Graham has criticized the president's foreign-policy choices in the past — most notably Trump's withdrawal of troops from northern Syria and his handling of Saudi Arabia following the country's murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident.
During an interview with Fox News on Thursday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Trump administration did not know "precisely when" or "precisely where" an attack would have targeted.
Democratic lawmakers – and a few Republicans – were infuriated by a classified briefing they received from the Trump administration on Wednesday concerning the US strike that killed the Iranian general.
The lawmakers said they were not provided any evidence of an imminent and specific threat posed by Iran — evidence of which is required to legally launch an attack without congressional authorization.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee called the briefing, which Pompeo helped lead, "probably the worst briefing, at least on a military issue, I've seen in nine years I've been here."