Graham and Trump....Syria

Oct 2012
Louisville, Ky
Driving the news: Graham said Trump is making the biggest mistake of his presidency, against the advice of his national security team, and putting his presidency in peril. "I think he's putting the nation at risk, and I think he's putting his presidency at risk," Graham said. "And I hope he will adjust his policies like he did before. That would actually be a sign of real leadership."
Details: Graham told me in a phone interview:

  • "This is worse than when Obama left Iraq, because you've got so much information as to what happens. This would be a game changer to our national security. This would pave the way to the re-emergence of ISIS."
  • "If I hear the president say one more time, 'I made a campaign promise to get out of Syria,' I'm going to throw up."
  • "He took an oath of office to protect the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There's no bigger enemy to our nation than ISIS. And there's no way we can protect the country from radical Islam without partners like the Kurds."
  • "His duty as commander-in-chief, I believe, compels him to act honorably by the Kurds, and it is impossible for Turkey to go into Syria and not create a devastating ripple effect, no matter what the president says to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan."
  • "Nobody besides Trump believes the president's claim that the U.S. is not abandoning the Kurds."
The other side: The White House declined to respond directly to Graham's comments.
  • Earlier Tuesday, the president said on Twitter that the U.S. "may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters."
  • Trump has long foreshadowed a withdrawal from Syria and campaigned in 2016 on a promise to bring American troops home from long-running wars in the region.
Between the lines: Graham remains a key political supporter of Trump, and his stance against impeachment remains. He opposes Democrats' calls to remove Trump from office for his dealings with Ukraine — and he is not saying Trump should be removed because of his Syria policy.
  • However, Graham's vocal opposition to the withdrawal reflects real and growing frustrations with Trump in his own party at a critical time.
The big picture, per Graham: "The president is not ending the war. He's creating a bigger war if he does not change course."

It would seem that this may be the beginning of Republicans in Congress pealing away....between Romney and Graham people may start growing a set.

What Say You?