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VIDEO: Chairman Risch Discusses Iran, Impeachment on Fox and CNN

WASHINGTON – Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today appeared on Fox News and CNN to discuss the latest developments with Iran and the path forward on impeachment. 

Remarks have been lightly edited for clarity.

FOX

On whether this is a time of de-escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran:

“I really hope so. You’ve heard the debate over whether the Iranians intentionally put their rockets in a place where no Americans would be hurt or killed. They knew what the red line was. This thing has been escalating for the last year. The president set a red line and said, “If you kill someone, we’re going to do something.” They did [cross the red line], he did [respond], and what he did was not proportional, it was substantially more than proportional and it was done intentionally to restore deterrence against Iran because they have been pushing the envelope, they have been escalating, and so [the president] did what he did.”

On the Trump administration briefing on the Suleimani strike:

“The briefing yesterday was from five of the best people the administration has. It was good, it was in-depth, it was clear. I fully understand there is a partisan divide on this, and we have two to three members on our side who also disagree, but for different reasons. This is healthy, we’ll get through this. This debate over the authorization of the use of military force has been going on since George Washington was president. This is a democracy and this is how it should work.”

To watch on YouTube, click here.

To download video file, click here.

CNN

On the future of negotiations with Iran:

“The speech the president gave yesterday was a clear, clear statement of this administration’s policy and the United States’ policy on Iran, both before this week, during this week, and going forward from this week. Clearly, we don’t want war with Iran. We want them to get rid of the bad behavior they have [shown], which is pursuing a nuclear weapon, supporting terrorists all over the world, being the largest exporter of terrorism that there is, mucking around in everyone’s business in the Middle East and causing trouble wherever they can. If they don’t do that, they can be like America and have the kinds of things we have here. Right now they are starving to death because of the sanctions we have put on them.”

On whether the Senate should call witnesses in the impeachment trial:

“The first thing we need to do is hear the opening arguments of each of the parties; they can tell us what they have. But it’s not up to the jury to help the prosecution put on its case. The prosecution had every ability to get people’s testimony when they were over in the House. If they couldn’t get them [to come testify], they could go to the court and force them to come in. I’m willing to listen to what they have to say. We’ll proceed with the trial and each of us will cast a vote that we believe is the right thing to do; I fall in that camp.”

To watch on YouTube, click here.

To download video file, click here.

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