U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says any “hostilities” with Iran “must not be initiated without the approval of Congress.”
The California Democrat said in a statement Friday that “We are in an extremely dangerous and sensitive situation with Iran.”
She spoke after President Donald Trump confirmed that he had ordered, then canceled, a retaliatory strike after Iran downed an unmanned American drone.
At the White House a day earlier, Democratic leaders had warned Trump that “hostilities must not be initiated without the approval of Congress,” according to Pelosi.
She called for de-escalating the conflict and advancing American interests.
A spokesman for Pelosi said Friday she was not given a heads-up about the military action. Pelosi is second in line to the presidency behind Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump on Friday tweeted that the U.S. was “cocked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran for downing an unmanned American surveillance drone. But he said he canceled the strikes 10 minutes before launch time after being told 150 people could die.
….On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2019
Congressional leaders were briefed about Iran on Thursday in the secure White House Situation Room, but Democrats afterward said they were uncertain of Trump’s next steps.