Updated Jan 5, 2020

White House informs Congress of Soleimani strike, Trump warns U.S. will hit Iran if attacked

Trump speaks at a Evangelicals for Trump Coalition event, Jan. 3. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The White House has notified Congress of the drone strike that killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, fulfilling its duties under the War Powers Act.

Why it matters: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the notification "raises more questions than it answers." Both Democrats and Republicans — including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) — have criticized President Trump for not obtaining congressional approval for this week's strike.

Trump issued a warning to Iran on Saturday, tweeting that the U.S. has "targeted 52 Iranian sites," representing the 52 Americans taken in the Iran hostage crisis of 1979–1981, and that the United States will strike "if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets."

What else he's saying:

"Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters.
He was already attacking our Embassy, and preparing for additional hits in other locations. Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

Details: The 1973 War Powers Act gives the president 48 hours to report to lawmakers the act of introducing military forces into armed conflict overseas.

  • Trump claimed on Friday that the U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani was not intended to start a war.

Go deeper: Sanders, Ro Khanna push to block funds for military force against Iran

Go deeper

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,273,402 — Total deaths: 375,683 — Total recoveries — 2,697,873Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,811,277 — Total deaths: 105,147 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

St. John's clergy: Trump used church as prop, Bible as symbol of division

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.

The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.