But as the president remains in a holding pattern, still deliberating days after tweeting a blunt warning of imminent missile strikes, several House Democrats – who are also military veterans – are blasting the president for publicly telegraphing the potential use of military force on social media.
“The president's behavior is both reckless and irresponsible,” Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., said. “It endangers the lives of our men and women in uniform - people who have put their life in harm's way to protect our security.”
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018
“The president's a horrible president,” Gallego, D-Ariz., said. “He doesn't know how to govern. He doesn't know how to work with his cabinet. He doesn't know how to work with professionals. He just spouts at the mouth like a drunkard. I mean that's the reality of what we're dealing with.”
Rep. Salud Carbajal, also a Marine veteran, said the president’s tweets “confuse our allies” by signaling “radical foreign policy shifts in a matter of hours.
“It is clear that the president has fallen into a dangerous pattern of tweeting first and asking questions later, often basing our most complex national security decisions on what he's watching on cable news that morning and forcing his staff to scramble to implement policy as a result,” Carbajal, D-Calif., said. “I urge the president to resist the urge to tweet on matters of national security, and instead rely on the counsel of his advisors in the future. Lives are on the line.”
“The idea that you would do serious matters over the Twitter without the advice of your advisors, without the advice of the military, without working with Congress should worry every American across our great country,” Thompson added. “It's gotta stop.”
While House Speaker Paul Ryan maintains the president has adequate authorization to order the use of force in Syria, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, a former Marine Corps captain, said that using the 9/11 authorization to justify strikes in Syria is “increasingly difficult.”
“We've stretched that past the bounds of credulity,” Gallagher said. “I mean it's a 17-word authorization passed seven days after 9/11 that we're using to kill people that weren't even born on 9/11.”
Gallagher believes the White House should immediately seek new authorization in order to “ give any military strike more crediblity.”
“I'm more than willing to work with the administration to give them the authority they need, but it's long past time for Congress to step up and do that,” he said. “It would force us to flesh out some questions surrounding our broader strategy and in the region
Gallego also said Trump should come to the Capitol to seek new congressional authorization for the use of military force in Syria.