Trump tells Congress Syria strikes were 'vital' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trump tells Congress Syria strikes were 'vital'

Posted: Updated:
PALM BEACH, Fla. -

The Latest on developments in the aftermath of U.S. airstrikes against Syria (all times EDT):
    
2:40 p.m.
    
The White House is circulating a letter President Donald Trump sent to the leaders of both houses of Congress explaining his decision to order military strikes on a Syrian air field.
    
In the letter, dated Saturday, Trump said he "acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations" and as commander in chief.
    
Trump said he was sending the letter as part of his efforts "to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution."
    
Trump has received widespread support for the military action, taken to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad's government after the U.S. concluded he used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
    
But Trump also has faced some bipartisan pushback from lawmakers who have long insisted that presidents must seek congressional approval for acts of war.
    
___
    
1:30 p.m.
    
The White House says President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi Arabia's king about Syria and he "reaffirmed strong Saudi support for the United States' military strike against the Sayrat airfield."
    
The statement says King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz al-Saud agreed it "was a necessary response" to the chemical weapons attack by Bashar Assad's government, which killed dozens of civilians in rebel-led northern Idlib.
    
The official Saudi Press Agency earlier reported that the king had complimented Trump in their telephone conversation for his "courageous decision."
    
Saudi Arabia is one of the most vehement opponents of Assad.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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