Donald Trump declared this week that he did not know the man coordinating the nation’s fight against ISIS, which was very frightening to Senator Chris Murphy.
Brett McGurk, who served as the Trump administration’s official ISIS envoy, abruptly resigned this week after Trump announced his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Both McGurk and Defense Secretary James Mattis put in their resignations after the move, which Trump reportedly ordered without consulting military leaders or national security advisers.
The resignation led Trump to lash out at McGurk, claiming that he did not even know the man. That was a very concerning thought for Murphy, the Democratic Senator from Connecticut.
“Uhhhh…you don’t know your own coordinator of the anti-ISIS campaign?” Murphy tweeted on Saturday. “Over the past 5 years, no one has done more to put ISIS on its heels than Brett. We all know and rely on him.”
“The fact that our President has no clue who Brett is should scare the hell out of every American.”
In his tweet attacking McGurk, Trump had tried to distance himself from his administration’s ISIS envoy, saying he was a holdover from President Barack Obama who was on his way out of the administration.
“Brett McGurk, who I do not know, was appointed by President Obama in 2015,” Trump tweeted. “Was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!”
The decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria has led to criticism from both sides of the aisle. Critics say that ISIS has not been defeated, as Trump had originally claimed, and believe that pulling out of the region will only allow the militant group to regroup and gain more power while also leaving the country’s Kurdish allies vulnerable to attack from Turkey.
Even Fox News joined in on the criticism, with a host on Trump’s favorite show Fox & Friends repeating an attack that Trump frequently made against Barack Obama. During the 2016 campaign, Trump said that Obama was the “founder of ISIS,” and after being given a chance to clarify his statements, Trump said that he literally believes that Barack Obama founded the Islamic militant group.
Fox & Friends turned that criticism back on Trump this week.
“He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS,” host Brian Kilmeade told White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was appearing on the show. “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.”