Top administration officials and lawmakers have left the White House after a classified briefing on an hour, about Iran's sudden downing of American Surveillance drone in the Middle East – and a "measured".
Amide mounting tension between the U.S. Pat. and Iran, the White House earlier Thursday invited House and Senate leaders and Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committee to meet Trump in the White House's secure situation room.
Others who arrived for the meeting included CIA Director Gina Haspel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he'll nominate as defense secretary.
Shanahan was spotted outside the White House carrying a folder stamped "SECRET / NOFORN
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News that "we had a good briefing" and that the Trump administration would engage in "measured responses." . "
McConnell confirmed the US's position that the drone was operating in international airspace, even as Iran has tried to "violate" the Iranian airspace. [InastatementHouseRepublicanLeaderKevinMcCarthyandrankingmembersMichaelMcCaulofTexas(HouseForeignAffairs)DevinNunesofCalifornia(HouseIntelligence)andMacThornberryofTexas(HouseArmedServices)allcondemnedIran's"directattack"anddemanded"measured"retaliation"
"Iran directly attacked a United States asset over international waters," the Republicans wrote. President Trump and his team of national security team remain clear-eyed on the situation and what must be done in response to them Iranian aggression: In Congress, we stand ready to support our men and women in uniform, our country, and our allies in the region. "
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a separate statement after the briefing calling for calm.
TRUMP SAYS IRAN'S US DRONE SHOOT-DOWN MAY HAVE BEEN 'MISTAKE,' BUT 'COUNTRY WILL NOT STAND FOR IT'
"In light of the targeting of an unmanned US drone by Iran, it is essential that we are fully aware of our allies, that we are not dealing with a responsible adversary and that everything is in our power to de-escalate.
"This is a dangerous, high-tension situation that requires a stro ng, smart and strategic, not reckless, approach, "Pelosi said.
Speaking to reporters, Pelosi said she was also what convinced that intelligence was correct in its assessment that the drone was in international airspace when it was shot down. But, Pelosi added, "The Trump administration legally deserves to be obtained."
"We make it very clear that we are involved in any military activities (AUMF), "Pelosi cautioned."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said he was told the president during the briefing that there should be a "robust, open debate," and that "Congress should have a real say. "
He said he was worried the administration" may bumble into a war. "
" We have an amendment supported by every Democrat to the NDAA in the Senate, by Senator Udall, which would require Congressional approval of any funding for a conflict in Iran, "Schumer said in a statement. "We are asking leader McConnell to do the right thing and give it a vote next week on the NDAA on that amendment."
Footage on social media so showed
Hours earlier, the Pentagon released video showing the smoke trail of a Navy drone that was shot out of the sky
Trump told reporters that Iran made a "very big mistake" but said he had the feeling that it had come to the worst someone being "loose" or doing something "stupid," rather than a deliberate provocation by Iran.
The US Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, on unmanned aircraft with a wingspan larger than that of a Boeing 737, which was downed by an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps surface-to-air missile that fired from near Goruk on Wednesday night, according to Lt. Gene. Joseph Guastella, head of U.S. Air Force Central Command.
"This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. Air Force that did not violate Iranian airspace at any time during its mission," Guastella said.
Guastella said: "What is the problem?" [more than 20 miles from the nearest point of land on the Iranian coast.]
Some Democrats, for their part, blamed Trump for the episode. Presidential candidate Joe Biden said trump has made military conflict with Iran more likely and that "another was in the Middle East is the last thing we need."
"Iran directly attacked a United States asset over international waters."  – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Ranking GOP Members
Biden said Trump's strategy in Iran has been "a self-inflicted disaster" since the president withdrew the US
The Trump administration called that a reckless giveaway to a dangerous regime that only emboldened and empowered its imperialistic and terroristic ambitions. Iran's economy, sending inflation above 30 per cent and devastating oil revenues.
Iran continues to be a bad actor that human rights and supports terrorist activities. " But, he added that the U.S. needed presidential leadership.
US NAVY DRONE SHOT DOWN BY IRANIAN MISSILE OVER STRAIT OF HORMUZ IN 'UNPROVOKED ATTACK,' CENTRAL COMMAND SAYS
In a video released Thursday afternoon, the smoke trail of the drone
Guastella said the drone landed in "international waters" about 20 miles from Iran. U.S. officials told Fox News that investigators were racing to find the wreckage ahead of Iranian forces.
Navy's RQ-4A Global Hawk drone provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions "across vast ocean and coastal regions," according to the military.
The high-altitude drone can fly up to 60,000 feet or 11 miles in altitude and stay aloft for 30 hours at a time. It's used to spy on Iranian military communications and track shipments in the busy waterways. Each Thursday costs up to $ 180 million.
So Thursday afternoon, presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand, DN.Y., demanded that Trump abstain from sending.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has sped to aircraft carrier to the Mideast and approved sending. Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.
The New York senator outlined her position in a heavily worded letter to the White House on Thursday.
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Gillibrand has written a memorandum, which is deeply concerned that her administration has stepped up military presence in the Middle East, in conjunction with her rhetoric and confusion Such was not authorized, would unnecessarily risk the lives of Americans and our allies. "
Fox News' Travis Fedschun, Hillary Vaughn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.