South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, long one of Donald Trump’s staunchest allies, is now in a war of words with his former golf buddy, as The Associated Press describes him, over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.
As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, in early October, Trump announced that U.S. troops would be withdrawing from northern Syria, saying that it was time to put an end to our presence there as part of his plan to stop “these endless wars.”
The decision was met with harsh criticism from both sides of the aisle, who noted that the Kurds had been the United States’ allies in the region for the better part of two decades. Leaving the region would leave the ethnic group open to an invasion from Turkey, said critics at the time, and indeed, Turkey has made an incursion into Syria. Trump, for his part, has shrugged off the matter, saying that the Kurds didn’t help the U.S. in World War II, and that their fate “has nothing to do with us.”
At the time of the announcement, Graham harshly criticized the withdrawal as a “disaster in the making,” saying that if he didn’t know any better, he’d have thought that the directive came from Barack Obama. Further, Graham vowed to sponsor a bipartisan resolution in the Senate to oppose the move.
On Wednesday CNBC reported that Graham intends to introduce that resolution to the Senate on Thursday, again reiterating his belief that the situation is a “disaster in the making,” to which Trump angrily responded that Graham “would like to stay in the Middle East for the next 1,000 years.”
The war of words has only escalated since then. Graham has vowed to become Trump’s “worst nightmare” unless the commander-in-chief does more to protect the Kurds.
“To President Trump, if you’re listening to this interview, if you remove all of our forces from Syria, you’re throwing the Kurds over, [the Islamic State] will come back on your watch, and Iran will take over and you, my friend, will be in great jeopardy of losing the election,” Graham said.
Trump responded by saying that Graham should focus on his Senate work leading the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I am the boss,” Trump said.
When asked by a reporter whether or not he could continue to work with Donald Trump, Graham replied in exasperation.
“I don’t care right now,” he said.
Though their friendship may be over, at least for now, that doesn’t necessarily indicate that Graham won’t continue to defend Trump when it comes to matters other than Syria. Graham has criticized Trump before on specific issues but has generally been supportive of Trump in a larger sense.
It’s support Trump will likely need if and when the House of Representatives votes to impeach and Trump then goes on trial in the Senate.