Washington D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) appeared live on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” with Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith to discuss the U.S. response to Iran’s aggression. Key highlights are below:

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On the U.S. response to Iran’s aggression: “We expected and anticipated a response from Iran. 15 ballistic missiles, it’s a very bold response. I do find it interesting that they were so off target, that there were no casualties in this response. We will wait and see. I think the President is not interested in starting a war, but he had to respond to Soleimani, that attack was imminent by Soleimani. He was meeting with his counterpart in Iraq. I think, as General Milley said, it would be culpably negligent if the President did not act.” 

On Soleimani: “Let’s remember who Soleimani is. He’s not a household name, but for the last two decades he’s been the mastermind of terror in the Middle East. As Jeh Johnson, former Obama Secretary of Homeland and legal counsel, authorizing the strikes, he was a legitimate military objective. I got briefed by the National Security Advisor after the strike, and the Vice President. Based on the evidence I have, that General Milley says it is clear and unambiguous, when the National Security Advisor O’Brien says there’s 100% certainty. I do think if you look at the mounting weight of evidence since October, the President showed great restraint, Bill. I was in the White House when the UAV was shot down by Iran and saw the President saying, backing off of that, showing restraint, saying, “I am not going to attack due to this drone because I don’t want to start a war in the Middle East.” I think with Soleimani was in our target, in our bulls eye, we had to take him out.”

On a diplomatic solution and de-escalation: “Look, this is where diplomacy can come into play. I do think the President doesn’t want to escalate that, the tension, if you will. We do have channels through the Swiss government to communicate with the Iranians. I would encourage that route, to de-escalate this and not escalate it.”

On the need for American unity from Congress: “At this point in time we need to be united as Americans, not divided. I remember when Bin Laden was killed and we as Republicans rallied as Americans with the Democrats saying what a great victory that was. General Petraeus said [Soleimani] was the equivalent of Bin Laden in Iran.”