Missouri political leaders react to Syria military strikes

By Lucas Geisler |

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Several Missouri political leaders reacted to President Donald Trump's decision to strike several Syrian military assets on Friday night.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, expressed support for the strike but called for more details on the United States' plan for Syria.

"I'm supportive of this targeted attack, carried out in partnership with our allies, on the source of these barbaric chemical weapons, but, as I've said before, it needs to be part of a broader strategy," McCaskill said. "I look forward to learning more from our military leaders in the coming days."

Missouri's Republican Sen. Roy Blunt was more full-throated in expressing his support of the president's decision.

"President Trump, along with our allies, organized the right response to Bashar al-Assad's horrific chemical attack," Blunt said. "I commend the swift action on the part of all the military forces that carried out this mission. I support this effort and believe the president has the fully authority to take these actions."

Some GOP candidates for Senate hoping to unseat McCaskill also spoke to ABC 17 News about the strikes. Austin Petersen said he felt the president should have first sought congressional approval to strike Syria. He said military action like this deserved public debate, given some posturing by Russian officials, who are allies of Syria.

"It's the American people whose lives, blood and treasure are on the line," Petersen said. "If this leads to a wider war with Russia, we will get caught up in the kind of warfare that will cause more American casualties."

Attorney General Josh Hawley, another GOP candidate for Senate, did not return a late email for comment on Friday night.