Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) hosted a media call Thursday, focusing his time on the recent events in Iran. Rounds discussed his involvement in an informational meeting held by key members of national security with numerous members of Congress.
“We learned more about the events that led to the death of General Soleimani,” stated Rounds. “He was involved in planning very time-sensitive attacks on United States servicemen in the region.”
Rounds continued: “Following the briefing, if was clear to me that there was an imminent threat and that the President acted appropriately in his response to this threat. Hopefully, Iran will think twice about the current path they have been taking.”
When asked if the action against Soleimani was due to his presence outside of Iran or the immediacy of the threats, Rounds was very clear.
“We were told immediacy unless we could disrupt the threat.”
How does Rounds see the killing of Soleimani impact Iran going forward?
“Short-term, we expect that there may be acting out on the part of Iran,” Rounds replied. “Long-term, we are convinced that we have made this world safer.”
“This was a big blow to Iran’s ability to coordinate terrorism.”
Senator Rounds also discussed the announcement by President Trump on Thursday proposing new rules to narrow the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act. (See AP story, Page 1)
He stated that initial briefings that he read were “going in the right direction,” but that he had not had the chance to read the entire proposal yet.
“The goal should be to expedite good projects, not hurt the environment with bad things,” said Rounds regarding the aim of lessened regulations.
Senator Rounds reported that he was unaware of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s emergency declaration this week related to methamphetamine and homicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation. “I commend them for taking the time and making the move and hope to assist them in the future.”
Finally, Senator Rounds addressed impeachment and the schedule and procedure for impeachment in the Senate. The report that the House would turn over documents Friday was circulating as the call took place, and Rounds responded to that, stating that he believed the Senate would begin procedures quickly once all documentation was in place. Regarding procedure, Rounds believed previous rules would apply:
“The rules from the Clinton impeachment will be adopted in their entirety, I would imagine.”