Rep. Matt Gaetz pushed his fellow Republicans to buck President Donald Trump and vote in support of the Iran war powers resolution, aimed at curbing the President’s power to take military action, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reported that Gaetz’s office had sent an email to all Republican offices Thursday, urging them to vote in favor of the resolution – which the President and his team were lobbying his party to vote against. That attempt to convince other Republicans, along with his own vote, made Gaetz the subject of Trump’s ire, the Post and CNN reported.
“We WILL be voting in favor of H. Con. Res. 83, and hope you will do the same!” Gaetz’s legislative director wrote in an email obtained by the Post.
Gaetz has been a strong Trump supporter and a fierce defender of the President, including in the impeachment inquiry.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday that Trump told associates he wasn’t very happy with Gaetz’s vote, but it’s not expected to have a lasting impact on their relationship. Some House Republicans did try to talk Gaetz out of voting for the resolution but he was committed to supporting it, the source said.
Gaetz said during an interview on Thursday that he knew he had rankled the President.
“I think he would’ve preferred I voted differently, but he understands my principled view on this subject,” Gaetz told CNN, after saying he had spoken to Trump about the vote.
The White House told the Post that it hopes Gaetz’s views on the matter will change.
“The Trump administration was disappointed in the congressman’s vote and is hopeful that as the President’s foreign policy continues to unfold, he will reconsider his points of view,” Eric Ueland, the White House director of legislative affairs, told the paper.
A senior White House official told the Post that it was “super uncool” and “quite unwise” for Gaetz to support limits on the President’s authority. That official also told the newspaper that White House officials would not be returning the Florida Republican’s calls, texts, “smoke signals or his kneelings in the snow.”
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted largely on party lines to approve the war powers resolution, aimed at restraining the President’s ability to use military action against Iran without congressional approval.
Gaetz was among three House Republicans who crossed party lines to vote in favor of the resolution.
In explaining his vote to CNN, Gaetz said the argument that supporting the measure could embolden the enemy is what “got us into an endless war in Iraq.”
Asked if the President lobbied him to vote against the resolution, Gaetz said, “He clarified his view and I did the same.”
“It’s never tense. Friends should be able to disagree,” he added.
CNN’s Manu Raju and Pamela Brown contributed to this report.