Frustrated Senate Republicans say the Trump administration has left them largely in the dark about a possible military confrontation with Iran.
What the GOP legislators already know, however, has overshadowed them. Trump has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a Patriot missile defense battery and an Air Force bomber task force to the Middle East, while the State Department has ordered a partial evacuation of the US embassy in Baghdad.
Some legislators have received briefings, but many can only guess how great the threat is and where an increase in armed forces could lead.
"I think it's not fair when we're wondering," Sen said. Lindsey Graham ] (RS.C.), One of the Senate's leading voices on global security issues.
Graham, Chairman of Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, Expressing Concern over the Evacuation of Persons I was from the Embassy in Baghdad over the regular attacks that the institution had committed during the height of the Iraq war.
"We are clearly moving people," he said. "That's a big deal."
"We had people there during the height of the war," he added to his experience at the Embassy of Baghdad. "I've been there for a while to get shot in the air. If we could then stay in business, it would have to be a real threat. "
Republican senators say they do not know if Trump is really thinking about deploying 120,000 troops in the Middle East to fend off attacks by Iranian-backed troops, militants the New York Times first reported on Tuesday.
Sen. Cory Gardner Cory Scott GardnerThe Senate campaign arm meets GOP lawmaker due to Trump tax law 1 dead, several more injured in shootout in Denver suburb The gap in Sen. Gardner's environmental record MORE (R-Colo.), Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton announces to Marianne Williamson that she can not win three radio stations in Florida by the time of the 2020 election to broadcast Trump speeches every hour. MORE won in 2016, saying he wanted more information from the government and worried that the conflict with Iran could escalate.
] "There should be more briefings. I think we should do that sooner rather than later. I talked to the government about it, "he said, referring to conversations he had held over the past 24 hours.
Gardner, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that lawmakers have no appreciation of the administration's news reports that Iranian proxy holders were given the green light to attack US personnel in the Middle East.
Asked if he worried about a rapid escalation in military hostilities, Gardner responded: "Every time you deal with a regime like Iran, 'Death to America' painted on rockets, the American Killing soldiers across the Middle East is a serious problem. "
An alarming scenario is that Saudi Arabia, which is conducting a military campaign in the Yemen civil war, could launch a mission to retaliate against Iran and engage US troops in a regional conflict." Saudi officials said Tuesday that Houthi rebels in Yemen, which are supported by Iran, have carried out several drone strikes on Saudi oil pumping stations.
Sen. Mike Lee Michael (Mike) Shumway's Lee Export Import Bank returns to fuller after Senate approval Strength back Trump, Senate GOP discusses efforts to revise legal immigration Overnight Defense: Pentagon plans to make sexual harassment a crime Military sexual assault increased by 38 percent The Senate can not override Trump's Yemen veto MORE  (R-Utah) said, "I'm always bothered to be more involved everywhere. If we want to go to war somewhere, Congress should agree. "
Sen. Rand Paul Randal (Rand) Howard Paul Trump Jr. Reaches Agreement to Testify with GOP Senate Intelligence Senators in New Hampshire. R-Ky.) Said he warned the government that there is no Congressional approval to go to war with Iran.
"I think it's important that the government knows they do not have the congressional permission to go to Iran. The constitution is very clear. Congress must declare war. I told the administration that today in our hearing. We had the Secretary of State for Politics. We want to make clear to them that they are not privileged without going to war over our authority.
The Republicans said they had requested a briefing from all senators last week, but that was not possible because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Michael (Mike) Richard Pompeo The frustrated GOP senators want answers from Trump about Iran. The US makes flights to Venezuela a trip to Brussels and Sochi, Russia. At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday in Sochi, Pompeo said the United States wanted Iran to behave like a "normal country", but warned US forces would react if US interests were attacked Trump administration justifies the military action that has cast Britain, a close military ally, in doubt.
A senior British military official told reporters on Tuesday that he saw no heightened risk of attack by Iran or related militant groups. Major General Chris Ghika, deputy commander of a US-led coalition fighting against IS, told the New York Times that "there has been no heightened threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria."
The GOP legislators say that this is more likely to rely on US intelligence sources, but is frustrated that the government has not shared its information with the vast majority.
"We know that we need the most accurate information available that we can identify that we may need to come before making decisions about the use of military force. We know that from history. We only know that for practical reasons, "Senator said. Jerry Moran Gerald (Jerry) Moran The Hill's Morning Report – Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition – Important Impact of China's Trade Talks Collapse Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg meets Senators The FBI Director on Data Protection says he does not use "espionage" to describe investigations. MORE (R-Kan.)
He urged senators to fully teach and argue, "I think there is much more to do." Be known before decisions are made. "
A convention official said the Gang of Eight, a group that includes the Senate and House Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, as well as the chairmen and senior members of the Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees, will do it Thursday's Iran discussion ,
A full Senate meeting is expected next week, although some Republicans claim it may be too late given the speed of events in the Middle East.
"My understanding is there will be early next week [a briefing]but I do not know where we will be early next week. I hope I am wrong, we could be fully involved in this matter. It's a much more urgent situation than I think. I am surprised that there is no more talk about it, "said Sen. Marco Rubio Marco Antonio Rubio The pupil honors the victims of shootings with a school graduation cap. Rubio asks Barr against Kerry over the Iran meeting that China has promised to start investigating Stop Fentanyl Dealers Congress must tie them to it. MORE (R-Fla.), A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
"I've been here for eight years, this is by far the most immediate potential conflict of that importance," added Rubio. "I pray it changes. I do not want us to go to war in this region. I hope that does not happen, but we have to react when we are attacked.
Democratic Senate Chairman Charles Schumer Charles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Infrastructure Agreement Must Contain Childcare Allowances China Has Promised to Stop Fentanyl Traffickers, Congress Must Capture Them Schumer Urges Pompeo to Warn Putin of Consequences If Russia gets involved in elections, plans to deploy 120,000 troops against Iran | Pentagon, general coalition disagreeing on Iranian threat | The Spending Bill includes M Space Force studying McSally to introduce a bill to reform sexual assault. Pentagon denies General's statement on the threat of Iran-backed militia The Armed Forces Committee in a public hearing before the end of the week.
Democrats say they have been properly informed.
"You can not make foreign policy and national security decisions when flying blind. And right now we're doing that because the government is unwilling to inform members of the Senate, especially the National Security Committees, which include foreign affairs – blindfolded, "said Sen. Bob Menendez  Robert (Bob) MenendezWe can accelerate the healing of Alzheimer's. The Hill's 12:30 report: Manafort sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in prison), the highest-ranking Democrat in the Foreign Relations Committee.
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch James (Jim) Elroy RischFrustrated GOP Senators Demand Trump's Responses About Iran Overnight Defense: Legislators on Iranian Tensions | Questions arise after the state has withdrawn personnel from Iraq. Senators call for briefing Household Panel Advances 0B Pentagon Expense Report | Warren offers military climate change plan to Graham: Trump officials fail to adequately inform about the threat from Iran MORE (R-Idaho) said it had received information from the government officials about the Iranian threat however, one that many of his colleagues were not kept up to speed.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) Said, "Americans need to be told why the government puts an aircraft carrier group, bombers and other assets at risk." He warned against a repeat of the military build-up that led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
"There is a saying that does not repeat history but rhymes with it. The talk about secret information about the aggression of Iran, in which we refused to give us any information, certainly tastes like Iraq.
Schumer also drew a comparison with Iraq in the Senate.
"The lessons of history tell us when things are done in secret, behind closed doors mistakes can be made, and impulses can be set for a course of action that the nation ultimately regrets.
Jordain Carney and Rebecca Kheel contributed