Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Friday he would consider an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) so long as it strengthened the President's hand. He warned that Obama's requests for new AUMFs were too "restrictive" since they would have limited future executive action:
I would be interested in taking a look at an AUMF if the president feels like he needs it…if it strengthens his hand.
Why it matters: Some Senators are saying the 2001 Bush-era AUMF doesn't give Trump the authority to escalate beyond airstrikes in Syria.
On the airstrikes: McConnell added he is generally supportive of the strikes Trump carried out in Syria: "I think the president had the authority to do what he did and I'm glad he did it," adding, "The Russians are not our friends."
- For Syrian refugees: McConnell wouldn't comment on whether Trump should let refugees into the U.S., but said it would be beneficial to create a safe zone in Syria, "which would require some military action…so people don't feel like they have to run for their lives."
- For dealing with Assad: "I don't see how there can possibly be any settlement in Syria that includes Bashar al-Assad."