US intelligence officials brief congressional leaders on tensions with Iran

US
File TASS

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US intelligence officials will brief congressional leaders Thursday on Iranian threats amid escalating tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wanted the entire Congress to be briefed by next week ahead of a week-long break so that members could be briefed on any new intelligence developments before discussing any future steps.

“We certainly hope that the entire House of Representatives before the holiday will be informed of classified information on the Middle East and about Iran,” Pelosi told reporters.

It was not clear who would present the information later Thursday to a number of congressional leaders, including Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, senior Democrat Chuck Schumer and the top four Senate and Senate intelligence committees.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks as the United States sends an attack aircraft carrier, escort platoon and B-52 bombers into the Gulf to counter, as Washington says of Iran’s threats.

Opponents of President Donald Trump say militants led by national security adviser John Bolton, who has long sought to overthrow the Iranian regime, are pushing the United States into war.

Pelosi stressed that Congress, not the president, had constitutional authority to declare war, and was quick to point out President Trump’s repeated opposition to US military intervention in Iraq.

“I like what I hear from the president that he does not want to. One of the issues I have agreed with the president is our opposition to the war in Iraq, and I hope that is Trump’s feeling even if some of his supporters are beating the drums of war.”

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