Trump doubles down on decision to pull out of Syria: ‘Do we want to be there forever?’
President Trump defended his controversial decision to pull out from Syria Thursday morning, insisting that it shouldn’t be a surprise.
“I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer,” he tweeted. “Russia, Iran, Syria and others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were going [their] work.”
He argued the U.S. was losing too many American lives and spending too much money acting as the “Policeman of the Middle East.”
“Do we want to be there forever?” Mr. Trump wrote. “Russia, Iran, Syria many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us.”
After announcing the decision on Wednesday, he argued that the U.S. already defeated ISIS.
The decision was unexpected, as the president’s newly appointed Syrian envoy recently said the U.S. would keep a presence in Syria for the foreseeable future.
However, according to the Associated Press President Putin celebrated the U.S. decision to back out of Syria.
He argued that the American presence was illegitimate in the first place and said, “if the U.S. decided to withdraw its contingent, it has done the right thing.”
The president’s decision sparked a massive wave of bipartisan backlash, even from Republicans that typically support him.
Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Independent Sen. Angus King joined Republicans Sens. Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Lindsey Graham in denouncing the decision.
They warn that pulling troops out will destabilize the region and will encourage ISIS to reform while bolstering Russia and Iran.
“Your administration must not repeat the same mistakes that previous administrations have made and concede to these bad actors,” they wrote.
On Thursday, the president seemed confident the U.S. could handle an ISIS resurgence.
“ISIS hits us they are doomed!” he wrote.