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A furious Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) emerged from Wednesday's classified briefing by the Trump administration on the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, calling it "insulting and demeaning" that briefers instructed senators not to debate the appropriateness of further military action against Iran.

"They're appearing before a co-equal branch of government responsible for their funding, for their confirmation, for any approval of any military action they might undertake. They had to leave after 75 minutes, while they were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public. I find that absolutely insane. I think it's unacceptable."
— Mike Lee

Why it matters: Lee said that he entered the briefing "undecided" on whether to vote for a Senate resolution curbing President Trump's military action toward Iran and left the briefing "decided."

  • It's rare to see a Republican senator so harshly rebuke the Trump administration, but Lee — along with fellow libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — did not hold back on condemning officials for suggesting that members of Congress debating military action would further embolden Iran.
  • "They were asked repeatedly, what, if anything, would trigger the need for the administration to come back to Congress for a declaration of war or an Authorization for the Use of Military Force," Lee added. "At one point, I believe one of the briefers said something like, “I’m sure we can think of something.” But they struggled to identify anything."

Go deeper: House to vote to curtail Trump's war powers against Iran

Go deeper

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
10 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.