Middle East

Trump to circumvent Congress to sell weapons benefitting Saudi Arabia, UAE

President Donald Trump
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed to lawmakers on Friday that President Trump will invoke an emergency provision allowing him to bypass Congress to sell nearly $8 billion worth of weapons that would benefit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The "rare" move to declare an emergency in an effort to push through 22 arms deals is troubling to both Republican and Democratic lawmakers who are concerned that the White House is tipping the system of checks and balances, per the Post. Some fear that selling weapons to Gulf nations could fan the flames of tension between the U.S. and Iran, per the New York Times.

Report: Pentagon plan would move 10,000 troops amid Iran standoff

Trump with military leaders and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan (L). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Pentagon is expected to submit plans to the White House that would see up to 10,000 additional U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East, according to AP. The report comes amid growing fears of war with Iran.

Why it matters: Both U.S. and Iranian officials have said they don't want war, but U.S. officials have made repeated but unspecific claims of possible impending Iranian attacks. President Trump tweeted Monday, "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran." Trump has also dismissed a previous report of a Pentagon plan involving 120,000 troops, but said he'd send "a hell of a lot more" if necessary.

Go deeper: Why war with Iran is suddenly on the table