Trump’s GOP allies condemn president after ‘sickening’ Turkish incursion

Source: Politico | October 9, 2019 | Burgess Everett

Turkey’s incursion into Syria on Wednesday is prompting fresh bipartisan condemnation of President Donald Trump’s moves and more congressional threats to hamstring Turkey economically.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), otherwise reliable allies of Trump, both lambasted the president on Wednesday after Turkey moved into northeastern Syria, which is occupied by Kurdish allies of the United States. The U.S. worked closely with Kurds to defeat the Islamic State, and now lawmakers in both parties fear Trump’s conversation on Sunday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that led to a U.S. pullout has become a “disaster in the making,” as Graham put it.

“Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS,” said Graham, vowing to lead congressional efforts “to make Erdogan pay a heavy price. I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time.”

Cheney called the situation “sickening” and said it was “impossible to understand why @realDonaldTrump is leaving America’s allies to be slaughtered and enabling the return of ISIS.”

Trump has defended his actions as a much-needed withdrawal from the Middle East, gaining plaudits from libertarian-leaning allies like Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Thomas Massie, both Republicans from Kentucky. On Wednesday, Trump called U.S. intervention in the Middle East the “worst decision ever made in the history of our country” and retweeted Sergio Gor, a Rand Paul aide, who asked why Democrats weren’t supporting Trump’s decision.

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