During a press conference Wednesday, President Trump called out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for opposing his efforts to pull U.S. troops from Syria.
“I think Lindsey would like to stay there for the next 200 years, and maybe add a couple hundred thousand people every place. But I disagree with Lindsey on that,” Trump said.
Trump on Syria, @LindseyGrahamSC: "I think Lindsay would like to stay there for the next 200 years, maybe add a couple hundred thousand people every place. But I disagree with him on that." pic.twitter.com/Mmq7TRYKSz
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 9, 2019
Trump campaigned on reducing the United States’ provision of other nations’ security, promising to bring home American troops from “endless wars.” When he announced earlier this week he will remove American troops from Syria, Trump claimed going into the Middle East was the worst decision ever made in the history of America.
The United States has spent eight trillion dollars fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died of been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. Going into the Middle East is the worst decision ever made in the history of our country.
We went to war under a false and now disproven premise, weapons of mass destruction. There were none! Now we are slowly and carefully bringing our great soldiers and military home. Our focus is on the big picture! The USA is greater than ever before!
The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
Trump’s new strategy sparked infighting between himself and prominent Republicans like Graham.
Graham and other Republicans say Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a dictator and will kill current American allies once our troops leave. Graham is particularly afraid the Kurdish fighters, an American ally who helped eliminate ISIS, will be endangered by American troops not remaining indefinitely on their behalf.
Trump has attempted to deter Turkey from acting maliciously in the region by threatening to devastate the Turkish economy if they hurt American allies.
“I do agree on sanctions, but I actually think much tougher than sanctions. If [Erdogan] doesn’t [enter Syria] in as humane way as possible,” Trump said in the same press conference.
Trump also made a promise to watch out for our Kurdish ally and continue to support them, but with more distance.
“Any unforced of unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially [and with] weapons,” Trump tweeted.
….understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019
Regardless, many Republicans were vocal advocates that Trump keep U.S. troops in Syria. Examples include: Graham, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). Media quickly elevated the Republican disagreement over foreign policy.
Erdogan and humane do not belong in the same sentence. Worst is yet to come.https://t.co/0QZ0kKp0lT
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 10, 2019
At request of this administration the Kurds served as the primary ground fighters against ISIS in Syria so U.S. troops wouldn’t have to.
Then cut deal with Erdogan allowing him to wipe them out.
Damage to our reputation & national interest will be extraordinary & long lasting.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 9, 2019
— CNN (@CNN) October 10, 2019