GOP Senators Urge Deescalation After Iran’s Retaliatory Missile Strikes

WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 18: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to reporters outside of his office at the U.S. Capitol as debate on the articles of impeachment against President Trump continues on December 18, 2019 in... WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 18: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to reporters outside of his office at the U.S. Capitol as debate on the articles of impeachment against President Trump continues on December 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. Later today the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on two articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 8, 2020 11:22 a.m.

Let’s all take a deep breath.

That seemed to be the message from several Republican senators in response to Iran’s retaliatory missile attacks against the U.S. at two military bases in Iraq Tuesday night.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) Wednesday morning tweet that “retaliation for the sake of retaliation is not necessary at this time” marked a shift in tone from his remarks on Fox News the night before, when he argued that President Trump “has all the authority he needs under Article II to respond” and that Iran’s missile strikes were an “act of war.”

Watch Graham’s remarks on Fox News below:

Graham wasn’t the only Republican senator who urged restraint following Iran’s missile strikes Tuesday night.

Right before Trump addressed the nation about Iran Wednesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the Senate floor — where he capitalized on the Iran missile attack to accuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of playing politics with the impeachment articles — and said that “as a superpower, we have the capacity to exercise restraint and to respond at a time and place of our choosing, if need be.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair James Inhofe (R-OK) echoed McConnell by saying that Trump is taking Iran’s attack “as an opportunity to not just deescalate but start negotiations,” according to an ABC News report Wednesday morning.

Other Republican senators who shared a similar sentiment include Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

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