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Trump speaks during a meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office in October. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Chris Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted Monday he and "many" others have been hearing more "serious war talk in and near the White House" related to North Korea.

His takeaway: It's time for Congress to "take Trump seriously as he keeps hinting, over and over, that he wants to go to war with North Korea" and get a new AUMF passed.

Murphy's plan: A new AUMF to send a message to Trump that he doesn't have a blank check from Congress to declare war on North Korea or launch a first strike without Congressional authorization. He told Vox's Ezra Klein one subtle way to do that would be to "authorize action against ISIS and the Syrian regime as a way of making the president see clearly that action against North Korea shouldn't be taken without authorization."

The Senate recently dashed Rand Paul's hopes to repeal the war authorizations for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, but some influential lawmakers share his opinion that a vote on an AUMF is a long time coming, including Tim Kaine and Jeff Flake. The vote tallied out at 61-36.

One concern is that it's a paradigm shift — "it is usually the military trying to convince the president to view a problem through a kinetic lens," but the dynamic Trump has set up appears to be the reverse of that, and sets up the need to walk Trump away from a nuclear cliff's edge, and not the other way around. Another concern is about Congress — Murphy said there's an "atrophy of the muscles of Congress" in its failure to act on authorizing use of military force for years.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.