- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The White House shot down a New York Times report Wednesday that claimed Defense Secretary James Mattis tried unsuccessfully to persuade President Trump to get approval from Congress for last weekend’s airstrikes against Syria.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the reports “categorically false.”

“As Secretary Mattis explained to Congress in yesterday’s all-member briefs, the president appropriately ordered the strikes under his constitutional authorities,” she said.

The president notified Congress Sunday that he was exercising commander-in-chief powers when he ordered the missile strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons capability. He said the action was “in the vital national security” interests of the U.S.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress want to update the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that granted President George W. Bush the power to go after al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

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