When Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) criticized President Donald Trump recently for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, the president did not mince words in his response to that.
“Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers, fighting other people’s wars,” Trump said at a press conference, criticizing the hawkish South Carolina senator’s stance.
Trump made his comments on Graham in response to a question from ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl.
This was during a White House press conference this week with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Graham has been outspoken in his opposition to Trump’s troop withdrawal, saying it has endangered the Kurds.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 16, 2019
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He’s blasted Trump for saying countries like Russia, Iran, and Turkey should be responsible for stabilizing Syria and helping to protect the Kurds.
“I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements, this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq,” Graham said on Wednesday.
Trump said Graham was overreacting — and should redirect his efforts elsewhere.
“I think Lindsey should focus on [the] Judiciary,” Trump said.
Trump also seemed to suggest that Graham was out of step with his South Carolina voters — his constituents — as the senator faces re-election in the next election.
“The people of South Carolina don’t want us to get into a war with Turkey, a NATO member, or with Syria. Let them fight their own wars. They’ve been fighting for 1,000 years,” Trump said.
Trump reminded the media that he campaigned on putting America first and bringing U.S. troops home from the Middle East.
“I won an election on that, and that’s the way it is, whether it’s good or bad. That’s the way it is,” Trump said.
President Trump slammed one of his key allies on Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham, over his approach to Turkey's incursion in Syria.
Trump said during a news conference that Graham "would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years." https://t.co/2LyhAA16QS
— CNN (@CNN) October 16, 2019
President Trump is absolutely right about Graham and his mission to keep America in endless wars indefinitely, in our view.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) made the same point about Graham’s criticism of the president regarding Syria during an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday.
“Lindsey Graham has been wrong about almost every foreign policy decision of the last two decades,” Paul said. “He was wrong about the Iraq War. The Iraq War was a mistake.”
“It made Iran stronger,” Rand Paul added, “allowed more chaos, more instability, and more terrorism. He was wrong about the war in Libya. It lead to more chaos and more terrorism. He is wrong about this.”
Sen. Rand Paul is right.
President Donald Trump is right.
Sen. Lindsey Graham really has been wrong about American foreign policy for over 20 years — and he has no leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing the president on this front.
This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.
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