December was a month of turmoil for politics. In the middle of the month, President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets claiming that the U.S. forces based in Syria have defeated ISIS in the region. Thereafter, he announced that all the troops would be coming home almost immediately.
Not everyone is as confident as the president about the situation, however. Senator Lindsey Graham is pleading with Trump to rethink his decision to withdraw the troops, according to a report by CNN.
ISIS have claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Manbij on Wednesday that has resulted in a number of casualties of U.S. military servicemen, leading many to voice their concerns over Trump’s claim that ISIS has been defeated.
Graham chose to speak up about his thoughts on the matter during the confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr.
“My concern, by the statements made by President Trump, is that you set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting. You make people we’re trying to help wonder about us. And as they get bolder, the people we’re trying to help are going to get more uncertain. I saw this in Iraq. And I’m now seeing it in Syria.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that he is concerned President Trump's statements about Syria have emboldened ISIS and called on Trump to rethink his decision to withdraw US troops from the country https://t.co/vCGw9sy8sL pic.twitter.com/322fXqQWK9— CNN (@CNN) January 16, 2019
“Every American wants our troops to come home, but I think all of us want to make sure that when they do come home, we’re safe,” he added.
Graham first shared his skepticism with the president shortly after Trump made his wild claim that the group had been defeated, rushing to the White House to speak with him. At the time, the senator seemed to hint at the fact that the president was “re-evaluating” his intention to immediately withdraw all troops, but no official announcement of the sort was ever made.
Despite the senator’s optimism at the time, it seems he is feeling much less so after the bombing.
“I would hope the President would look long and hard of where he’s headed in Syria. I know people are frustrated, but we’re never going to be safe here unless we’re willing to help people over there who will stand up against this radical ideology,” he said on Wednesday.
Others who shared their concerns after news of the bombing included Texas Republican and ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Michael McCaul and Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.