President Trump is facing a widespread and growing revolt from within his own party over his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria ahead of Turkey’s planned invasion — which, according to Turkey, is coming “shortly.”
Republicans — even many who are normally stalwart Trump supporters — have spoken out in droves against what they consider the betrayal and abandonment of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters who helped America defeat ISIS in the region. Trump is “leaving them to die,” Nikki Haley said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the president’s most loyal congressional allies, wrote on Tuesday:
“The President’s decision will have severe consequences for our strategic national interests and reduce American influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia, and Iran. The decision also dramatically increases the threat to our Kurdish allies, who helped destroy ISIS’s territorial caliphate, and will impair our ability to build strategic alliances in the future.”
Trump loyalist Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), third-ranking House GOP leader, called the president’s move a “catastrophic mistake.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), another vocal Trump supporter who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said it would be “unconscionable” to “abandon the Kurds” and would “send a terrible signal” to America’s friends and enemies.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also spoken out against the president’s move, saying it will “only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” adding, “As we learned the hard way during the Obama Administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”
🔦 Such overwhelming blowback against a president who is seen as demanding unquestioning loyalty from within his party is almost unprecedented, and it’s happening as the Trump administration’s war with Democrats over impeachment is reaching fever pitch.