Bernie Sanders tells Stephen Colbert he agrees with GOP Sen. Mike Lee about the Constitution

Stephen Colbert interviews Bernie Sanders
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/The Late Show )

Stephen Colbert asked Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday's Late Show if he'd like to respond to Republicans who claim Democrats are "mourning" Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killed by a drone strike in Baghdad on President Trump's orders. "No, nobody I know is 'mourning' Soleimani, but I'll tell you what we are fearful of," Sanders said: Trump is dragging the U.S. into another Vietnam or the Iraq War, "the two worst foreign policy blunders in the modern history of this country, and both of those wars were built on lies."

"I will do everything that I can to stop a war with Iran that I think will be a disaster," Sanders said. He agreed with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and others that Wednesday's classified breifing on Soleimani's killing was unpersuasive, with CIA and military briefers unable to even give a clear answer about whether Trump thinks he would need congressional authorization to assassinate the leadership of Iran.

"Mike Lee is a conservative Republican with whom I disagree on almost everything, but he and I have worked together because Mike is maybe old fashioned enough, as I am, to believe in the Constitution of the United Sates," something "Trump, I think, has not yet read or understands," Sanders said. "The Constitution is extremely clear: It is the Congress of the United States that has war-making powers, not the president," Sanders said. "It has been a long time since Congress has exerted that power," Colbert noted, and Sanders agreed, pointing to political demagoguery and the sad reality that diplomacy isn't as "sexy" as militarism.

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Sanders said the "vast majority" of Senate Democrats want to hear first-hand evidence in Trump's impeachment trial, and he's "very distressed the Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, wants to have a so-called 'trial' but does not want to bring up witnesses."

"Iowa's coming up," Colbert said. "Yeah, I heard about that," Sanders deadpanned. Colbert asked about rumors that "in order to sit for the Senate trial and campaign in Iowa, you're going to be using private jets at night." "Well, probably one jet," Sanders quipped, adding that he'd consider jetpooling to Iowa with his fellow Senate Democrats running for president. Watch below. Peter Weber

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.