Washington, Idaho leaders react to US airstrike that killed top Iranian general

McMorris Rodgers to visit eastern Washington for public town hall events

Political leaders in Washington and Idaho expressed mixed reactions to President Trump’s decision to launch an airstrike that killed Iran’s top commander on Thursday evening.

The president said he ordered the precision strike to “terminate” Qasem Soleimani, who was plotting “imminent and sinister attacks” on Americans.

RELATED: Trump on strike that killed Soleimani: ‘We did not take action to start a war’ 

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers said she supports President Trump’s decision to launch the strike. She released the following statement to 4 News Now:

“President Trump’s action sends an important message to those who wish to do us harm. Qassem Soleimani [sic] is a terrorist who actively aided and supported groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. He is responsible for the death and injury of thousands of Americans. This decisive strike was a defensive action against imminent threats and plans to attack more Americans and our allies. I support our Commander in Chief. I encourage the administration to engage with Congress on this moving forward so we can be strategic in avoiding escalation and in protecting American lives and American interests.”

Washington senator Patty Murray said she is “gravely concerned” about the President’s actions. She wrote the following on Twitter:

“I’m gravely concerned this President’s escalatory actions jeopardize our servicemembers, allies, & interests & could put us on a path to sustained engagement—once again w/out a strategy or clearly defined objectives, & this time w/out any attempt to seek Congressional approval.  In decisions of war and safety our country must come first. Regardless of party, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle should now be demanding the President provide his legal justification for this action commit to coming before Congress in advance of any further escalating steps, and explain how he will manage the consequences of his decision with the goal of protecting Americans, our allies, and our interests.”

Idaho Senator Jim Risch, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, congratulated President Trump on the successful outcome of the strike.

“Congratulations to President Trump on his decisive action and the successful outcome. Qassem Suleimani [sic] was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans and his death presents an opportunity for Iraq to determine its own future free from Iranian control. As I previous warned the Iranian government, they should not mistake our reasonable restraint in response to their previous attacks as weakness. The U.S. will always vigorously defend our interests and allies in the face of terrorist conduct and provocations. On behalf of every American servicemen and servicewoman who either been killed or injured due to an Iranian-provided IED or rocket in Iraq over the years, today justice was done. Soleimani [sic] was responsible for the weapons program that caused those casualties and injuries with the use of those treacherous and cowardly devices.”

During an apperance on CNN’s “The Lead,” Risch said “This information that we had was rock solid. It was good intelligence.”

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo posted the following to his Twitter:

Rep. Russ Fulcher also praised the president, saying his actions protected U.S. diplomats and military servicemembers.

“General Qassem Suleimani [sic] and Iran’s Quds Force are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, along with fomenting instability in Iraq and throughout the region. The President’s actions helped protect U.S. diplomats and military servicemembers stationed in Baghdad. The U.S. will defend our diplomats, embassies, and interests from acts of terrorism by Iran.“

Now, community members are giving their input.

Protesters will gather from 12-1 p.m. on Saturday at Division and Wellesley to express what some of them have called a fear that President Trump is driving the country to the brink of war.