Of the many reasons Donald Trump’s assassination of Iranian leader Qasem Soleimani has blown up in his face, one of the biggest was that he failed to warn the “Gang of Eight” in Congress about his act of war. This handed the Democrats an easy talking point, and even left the Republicans unsure of what to initially say about the whole thing. So Trump decided to “fix” that today, in the weirdest way possible, by posting this tweet:
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. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!
That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s gibberish. Trump can’t just generically say “I’m going to bomb Iran if it does anything I don’t like” and have it count as notifying Congress. He would instead need to notify them of any specific military action he’s planning to take – such as when he failed to notify them that he was going to take out Soleimani.
What’s remarkable is that someone in Donald Trump’s inner circle clearly took the time to try writing this tweet in legalese, yet whoever wrote it just as clearly has no understanding of the law. George Conway replied to Trump’s tweet appropriately: “You really need to talk to a lawyer, although even the best lawyers can’t undo the fact that you’re a complete idiot.”
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report