Sen. Lindsay Graham said he was briefed on the airstrike later ordered by President Donald Trump to terminate a top Iranian general. Chuck Schumer claims the president did not notify top lawmakers in Senate/Congress ahead of the strike. Now there seems to be a bit of confusion about what happened, so we looked into it like a fact checker.
So here's what I believe happened. First, Graham says he was notified of the strike while he was in Florida. Chuck Schumer says the 'Gang of Eight' wasn't told. It's possible that both of these happened, because it's very possible that Trump only told Graham in confidentiality.
Why would Trump do this? It's because Trump likely trusts Graham, but does not trust Democrats in Congress to leak the information to the press, which could have tipped off the target of the strike.
So yes, Trump probably did tell Graham knowing that Graham could keep a secret. And yes, Trump purposely did not notify all of Congress, which is likely to avoid the leak.
Graham was quoted on CNN, saying:
"I was briefed about the potential operation when I was down in Florida. I appreciate being brought into the orbit. I really appreciate president trump letting the world know you cannot kill an American without impunity. We'll stand up for our people. And that is an absolutely essential message," Graham said.
Schumer was mentioned on The Hill:
Schumer said Trump did not alert the Gang of Eight — the top four leaders in Congress and the top four lawmakers on the Senate and House Intelligence committees — ahead of the strike. He said that the nation’s Founding Fathers gave Congress the authority to declare war to force the commander in chief to consult with lawmakers before making hasty military decisions.
“I’m a member of the Gang of Eight, which is typically briefed in advance of operations of this level of significance. We were not,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
And if you're wondering why Trump didn't tell them? Trump didn't tell them, so that's why the strike worked.