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It is Hard to Argue Trump Has Legal Authority: CNN’s Cuomo Questions Legality of Syrian Attack


The day after nearly 60 tomahawk missiles were launched at a Syrian government base, CNN’s Chris Cuomo took a tough stand while questioning a guest on whether President Donald Trump has the legal authority to strike Syria without congressional approval.

“Congress has traditionally now ceded authority to Presidents somewhat of a practical abdication of your congressional duty to declare war. It is hard to argue that there is legal authority for what the President just did. You said he did the appropriate consultation, what is that in your mind?” Cuomo asked Senator Cory Gardner (R) who appeared on the early morning show.

The Senator responded that he doesn’t believe there is any doubt that the President acted within his authority, and cited international humanitarian law, and the 2001 AUMF, which authorized military intervention following the attacks of 9/11.  But Cuomo wasn’t buying that justification.

“The 2001 AUMF is about terrorism, I don’t know how you extend it to Assad and in terms of international … if you look at the language of the AUMF, it was about specific threat to the homeland,” he said.  “That is what it was about and it became an extended justification of allowing Presidents to go abroad supposedly in furtherance of national interests that have been encroaching overtime passed traditional constitutional limits.”



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Rachel Stockman is Editor in Chief of Law&Crime and The Law&Crime Network. She is a former local news reporter, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.