President Donald Trump sent his official notification of military strikes in Syria to Congress Saturday afternoon, justifying the attacks as "in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States."
In explaining the Thursday night attack, where the U.S. military unleashed 59 missiles into a Syrian air base, Trump cited a need to stabilize the region and avoid a "worsening of the nation’s current humanitarian catastrophe."
Trump previously said the attacks were also to keep such chemicals that Syrian President Bashar Assad allegedly gassed his own people with Tuesday, killing scores, from coming to the United States. His decision to unleash missiles has proven popular among Republicans and Democrats alike.
But the president’s reasoning has struck some legal experts as dubious. And others, like Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, have criticized the president’s move, saying the United States wasn’t attacked and Congress should have been consulted beforehand.
Trump has also come under scrutiny for decrying the humanitarian crisis but blocking refugees from coming to the United States with a strict travel ban that has been ruled unconstitutional.
The notification, which arrived soon after Trump left a golf course in Florida, is required under the War Powers Act and must be delivered within 48 hours of the attack.
It was only a three-paragraph letter.
Before taking office, Trump had lampooned Obama for considering unilateral strikes, saying they would bring more debt and a long-term conflict.
"Obama needs Congressional approval," Trump wrote on his favorite medium, Twitter.
The president appeared to be watching TV coverage Saturday afternoon of planes continuing to fly from the airbase.
"The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!" the president wrote on Twitter.