White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien on Sunday said President Donald Trump met his obligation to notify Congress under the War Powers Act about the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed a top Iranian general.
"We think we've met our obligations in notifying Congress, and we think we're also very consistent with the Obama administration, the Bush administration, the Clinton administration," O'Brien said on "Fox News Sunday."
"Under Article Two of the Constitution, the president is allowed to exercise military power to defend the American people and defend our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines ... if it's in the national interest and the action doesn't rise to the level of war," O'Brien explained. "That's what we did here, and that's what we'll continue to do in the future."
The national security adviser said the administration would "certainly" go to Congress if they expect a longer conflict.
The president offered more details about the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani to Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Friday, mentioning possible threats to four unnamed U.S. embassies. But members of Congress say imminent threats to U.S. embassies weren't mentioned at all at a 75-minute briefing on Capitol Hill, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace pointed out.
The Trump administration has been "clear from the start," O'Brien replied. "President Obama did not brief the congressional leadership before the sensitive raid on Osama bin Laden," O'Brien said, calling it "standard procedure" to retain the information. "
"As soon as Soleimani was taken off the battlefield, the 'Gang of Eight' [of congressional leaders] was notified. The Intelligence Committees and key leaders of Congress were notified," O’Brien said.
He also defended the congressional briefing, saying he wasn't there but that sometimes the information mentioned at such meetings depends on what questions are asked.