Capitol Hill breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday as President Donald Trump pulled the nation back from the brink of all-out war with Iran — with even some of the GOP’s staunchest defense hawks applauding Trump’s restrained response to the Iranian counter-attack.
“A homerun speech by President Trump about the challenges we face with Iran. It was measured and firm,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s top allies in Congress.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sen. Rand Paul, a vocal non-interventionist, said he was “pleased” that Trump appeared to deescalate conflict with Iran in his televised address.
“His instincts still are for not being bogged down in the Middle East in large wars,” Paul said. The Kentucky Republican added that “it would be a good time for us to bring our troops home from Iraq” and that it’s “an opportune time to reassess whether or not we have any kind of vital security interest in Iraq in particular.”
The broad GOP support for Trump’s efforts to cool the crisis — which he sparked last week with the killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani — underscored the reluctance among Republicans in Congress toward a wider war as well as their steadfast backing of Trump. [Continue reading…]