Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria is earning scorn from an unlikely source — the president’s favorite Fox News program.
On Friday, the morning talk show Fox & Friends attacked Trump’s abrupt decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria, where they had assisted Kurdish fighters who were battling ISIS. Though the show is usually filled with praise for Trump — and the president often repeats statements he hears on the program on his Twitter page — Friday’s show was markedly different, the Hill noted.
During the episode, host Brian Kilmeade attacked Trump for the decision, saying it would leave a void that will likely allow ISIS to re-gather power.
“He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS,” Kilmeade told White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was appearing on the show as a guest. “He just refounded ISIS because they have 30,000 men there and they are already striking back with our would-be evacuation. The president is really on the griddle with this.”
Sanders said it was “absolutely outrageous” to suggest that Trump was doing anything to help ISIS regain power in Syria.
“Leaving is helping,” Kilmeade answered. “Leaving is helping.”
This marks the second day that Fox & Friends has gone after Trump for his decision to pull out of Syria.
Donald Trump had frequently attacked Barack Obama for the rise of ISIS, even saying that President Obama was the “founder” of the militant group. When given a chance to clarify his remarks during the 2016 campaign, Trump doubled-down, telling interviewer Hugh Hewitt that he believed that Obama was literally the founder of ISIS. After Hewitt objected and pointed out that Obama hated ISIS and was trying to kill the militants with airstrikes, Trump would not back down from his statement.
“I don’t care,” Trump said, according to a show transcript. “He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq was that that was the founding of ISIS, okay?”
The Fox & Friends host is the only one of Donald Trump’s allies to say the president is dangerous in his decision to pull troops from Syria. Senator Lindsey Graham, who has frequently defended Trump, said the move was “Obama-like” and said that pulling out of the region would only strengthen ISIS. Trump responded by tweeting that it was “hard to believe that Lindsey Graham would be against saving soldier lives & billions of $$$.”