On Episode 106 of War Room: Impeachment, Rep. Matt Gaetz explains why he voted ‘Yes’ on yesterday’s War Powers Resolution

Co-host Jason Miller asks Rep Gaetz to explain his rationale: “Obviously you’re one of the biggest if not the biggest defender of the president in the House of Representatives. Even when it’s very tough. You made very clear that the president made the right call in removing Soleimani, that that was the correct call. But the Democrats push yesterday was inextricably linked with the Soleimani strike and with this war powers resolution, but you’re treating them as very different.”

He continues: “Tell us how you can be very much supportive of the president and what he did with taking out Soleimani, a known terrorist, and also support this war powers resolution that Democrats talk as though they’re linked.”

Rep. Gaetz responds, emphasizing how he supports the killing of Soleimani because it made war less likely: “We’re not going to war with Iran and that’s because Iran doesn’t want to go to war, President Trump doesn’t want to go to war, and the American people don’t want to go to war. The biggest animating factor drawing our countries into a war we didn’t want was General Soleimani. He was doing everything he could to draw our nation into war and killing him was the right thing to do for that reason.”

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Rep. Gaetz also notes that the War Powers Resolution itself lacked any direct reference to President Trump or Soleimani, a result of his amendment: “There was one reference to Soleimani in the resolution that was initially filed on war powers, and so I went to the Democrats and said if this resolution includes any criticism of the Soleimani killing, if it includes any criticism of President Trump and his policies, I’m not voting for it because I’m not in for just a vehicle to go and smash the president. But if the resolution instead articulates our robust rationale for self defense and if it lays out that on a going forward basis no president can drag our country into a Middle East war in the absence of approval of Congress, then I’ll vote for it.”

He continues: “And my Democrat colleagues took my amendment, removed any criticism from the president, and I thought that was a win for the president because I do believe from a messaging standpoint, it is important for the president to see the people who care about him, and love him, and fight for his agenda everyday continue to animate the populist, anti-war sentiment that undergirds our movement, and I think there’s never a bad time to do that.”

Gaetz also addressed his fellow Republicans: “And for all the Republicans who are saying well Matt, I agree with you, but I mean come one, is this really the right time to be doing this? We have been at war my entire adult life in undeclared, unconstitutional wars, so I think it’s always a good time to reassert the role of the Congress and to do so in a way that does not criticize the president but that reinforces what are his values and his instincts.”