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Trump tells Congress Syria strikes were ‘vital’

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In this handout provided by the U.S. Navy,The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter fires a Tomahawk land attack missile on April 7, 2017 in the Mediterranean Sea. The USS Porter was one of two destroyers that fired a total of 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian military airfield in retaliation for a chemical attack that killed scores of civilians this week. The attack was the first direct U.S. assault on Syria and the government of President Bashar al-Assad in the six-year war there. (Photo by Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

PALM BEACH, Fla. — The White House is circulating a letter President Donald Trump sent to the leaders of both houses of Congress explaining his decision to order military strikes on a Syrian air field.

In the letter, dated Saturday, Trump said he “acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations” and as commander in chief.

Trump said he was sending the letter as part of his efforts “to keep the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution.”

Trump has received widespread support for the military action, taken to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government after the U.S. concluded he used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

But Trump also has faced some bipartisan pushback from lawmakers who have long insisted that presidents must seek congressional approval for acts of war.

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