State Department

Trump admin argues it already has 'sufficient' authority to use military force in Middle East

The Trump administration is arguing it already has “sufficient” authority to use military force in the Middle East without a new authorization from Congress, according to a letter obtained by Fox News.

“The United States has sufficient legal authority to prosecute the campaign against al-Qa’ida and associated forces, including against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),” a State Department official wrote in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker on Wednesday.

The letter cites the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which was passed by Congress after the September 11th attacks, saying it “authorizes the use of military force against these groups.”

It said the Trump administration is not seeking revisions to this authorization or asking for an additional authorization.

State Department official Charles Faulkner wrote the letter to Corker in response to questions about the legal basis of the administration’s military actions in Syria in May and June.

Some senators have pushed for a new authorization, saying the 2001 AUMF far beyond its original purpose.

Fox is told that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis will discuss the administration's position with senators at a closed door briefing Wednesday afternoon.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.