Sen. Mike Lee told CNN on Sunday that he's "worried" about the integrity of the information coming out of the government about Iran. "I’ve learned not to take the federal government’s word at face value."
He told CNN's Jake Tapper he has "not yet been able to ascertain really specific details as to the imminence of the attack" which killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
"Again, we weren't provided that" at the Congressional briefing this week, Lee said. "We were given somewhat general statements, and I believe that the briefers and the president believed they had a basis for concluding there was an imminent attack. I don't doubt that, it is just frustrating to be told that and not get the details behind it."
And do you -- do you have any concerns? I mean, we have heard mixed messages and conflicting stories about the reason for the attack, whether it's the existential threat that Soleimani posed, vs. imminent attacks, vs. an attack on one embassy, vs. an attack on four embassies.
You and I have sat through this movie before, conflicting, changing information, intelligence juiced in order to justify certain actions.
How worried are you about the integrity of the information we're being told?
SEN. MIKE LEE: Well, I'm worried.
And as a United States senator and as a voter and citizen, I have learned not to simply take the federal government's word at face value.
I mean, look, we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We were lied to for a couple of decades about what was happening in Afghanistan. We have been lied to about a lot of things.
It's not to say that the government is always lying or that the people who run it are inherently evil. It's just that they're human. And these things do happen.
And so that's important to ask these questions, to make sure that we know the details.
And insofar as we're dealing with the inherent tension between the Article 2 commander in chief power enjoyed by the president and the Article 1, Section 8, declaration of war power on the other hand controlled by Congress, members of Congress do need to be apprised of the information underlying a particular decision.