Full Senate briefing on Iran scheduled for Tuesday

The full Senate is scheduled to be briefed Tuesday on the Trump administration’s plans in Iran, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Thursday.

Chairman Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischFrustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran Overnight Defense: Lawmakers on edge over Iran tensions | Questions rise after State pulls personnel from Iraq | Senators demand briefing | House panel advances 0B Pentagon spending bill | Warren offers plan on climate threats to military Graham: Trump officials not adequately briefing on Iran threat MORE (R-Idaho), who helped organize the briefing, would not confirm whether Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoFrustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran US halts flights to Venezuela The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Alabama abortion bill revives national debate MORE and acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanNapolitano claims Trump violated separation of powers 3 times in last week Frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump on Iran Air Force No. 2 civilian to take over as acting secretary MORE will be the administration officials briefing the lawmakers.

Senators have been demanding a briefing on the intelligence behind moves such as the ordered departure of nonemergency staff at U.S. diplomatic missions in Iraq and the deployment of additional military assets to the Middle East, and the Trump administration’s further plans for Iran.

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The so-called Gang of Eight — congressional leadership and leaders of the Intelligence committees — are scheduled to be briefed Thursday afternoon, and some individual lawmakers have also been briefed. But lawmakers have said the situation is serious enough to demand all of Congress receives a briefing.

The deployments and embassy evacuation have raised concerns that the risk of war with Iran is escalating. President TrumpDonald John TrumpNapolitano claims Trump violated separation of powers 3 times in last week Work on surprise medical bills goes into overdrive Trump pardons media tycoon, former GOP leader of California State Assembly MORE on Thursday said he hopes there is not war with Iran.

The Trump administration has said there have been increased threats from Iran to U.S. personnel but has not specified the nature of the threats.

Risch, who himself has been briefed, said Thursday that public reporting on Iran moving missiles by boat does not show the whole picture, but he did not elaborate on other threats.

“I would strongly caution everyone not to grab onto that and say, ‘Ah-ha, this is it,’ ” Risch said. “That is the tip of the iceberg. When these situations are assessed, it is not a single item that moves the needle. It is a conglomerate of things and a wide spectrum of reporting, information and methods.”

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