Lindsey Graham on Trump’s Syria Troop Withdrawal

Senator Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump’s Troop Withdrawal from Syria’s Northern Border


2018 - Oct 17, 2019
Oct 18 - Nov 2019

Lindsey Graham on Trump's Syria Withdrawal Then
Lindsey Graham on Trump's Syria Withdrawal Now

#LindseyGraham 10/7/19: "By abandoning the Kurds we have sent the most dangerous signal possible – America is an unreliable ally." » #Graham 10/20/19: "President Trump is thinking outside the box." Click To Tweet

Senator Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump’s Troop Withdrawal from Syria’s Northern Border


2018 - Oct 17, 2019

Lindsey Graham on Trump's Syria Withdrawal Then
“Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake. With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated… Withdrawal of our forces in Syria mightily undercuts that effort and put our allies, the Kurds at risk.”

“This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we’ve made, thrown the region into further chaos, Iran is licking their chops, and if I’m an ISIS fighter, I’ve got a second lease on life…

“I will do everything I can to sanction Turkey‘s military and their economy if they step one foot into Syria. I hope I’m making myself clear how shortsighted & irresponsible this decision is

“This to me is just unnerving to its core. To say to the American people ISIS has been destroyed in Syria is not true… ISIS is not defeated. This is the biggest lie being told by this administration.”
- Oct 7, 2019

Fox News (via Business Insider), Oct 7, 2019
Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's staunchest defenders, is slamming the president over his decision to pull out of northern Syria and says the White House is lying about ISIS

(retrieved 11/9/19)
quote starts at beginning

“I don’t know all the details regarding President Trump’s decision in northern Syria. In process of setting up phone call with Secretary Pompeo. If press reports are accurate this is a disaster in the making.

* Ensures ISIS comeback.
* Forces Kurds to align with Assad and Iran.
* Destroys Turkey’s relationship with U.S. Congress.
* Will be a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds.”

“If this plan goes forward will introduce Senate resolution opposing and asking for reversal of this decision.

“I don’t believe it is a good idea to outsource the fight against ISIS to Russia, Iran, and Turkey. They don’t have America’s best interests at heart. “The most probable outcome of this impulsive decision is to ensure Iran’s domination of Syria. The U.S. now has no leverage and Syria will eventually become a nightmare for Israel.

“I feel very bad for the Americans and allies who have sacrificed to destroy the ISIS Caliphate because this decision virtually reassures the reemergence of ISIS. So sad. So dangerous. President Trump may be tired of fighting radical Islam. They are NOT tired of fighting us.

“Finally, this decision makes it difficult for the U.S. to recruit allies against radical Islam. By abandoning the Kurds we have sent the most dangerous signal possible – America is an unreliable ally and it’s just a matter of time before China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea act out in dangerous ways.”

“We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate. Hope and expect sanctions against Turkey – if necessary – would be veto-proof.

“This decision to abandon our Kurdish allies and turn Syria over to Russia, Iran, & Turkey will put every radical Islamist on steroids. Shot in the arm to the bad guys. Devastating for the good guys.”

“If Turkey moves into northern Syria, sanctions from hell – by Congress – will follow. Wide, deep, and devastating sanctions.”
“[Trump is] putting the nation at risk… This is worse than when Obama left Iraq, because you’ve got so much information as to what happens. This would be a game changer to our national security. This would pave the way to the re-emergence of ISIS… It is impossible for Turkey to go into Syria and not create a devastating ripple effect, no matter what the president says to ErdoğanNobody besides Trump believes the president’s claim that the U.S. is not abandoning the Kurds… The president is not ending the war. He’s creating a bigger war if he does not change course.”
- Oct 8, 2019

“That’s a pre-9/11 mentality that the Middle East is no concern to us

“And I will say this to the president: it would be hard to protect America without allies over there, and the Kurds have been good allies. And when Turkey goes into Syria they’re not going in to fight ISIS, they’re going in to kill the Kurds because in their eyes they are more of a threat to Turkey than ISIS. So I hope he’s right. I don’t think so. I know that every military person has told him ‘don’t do this.’ And this is the pre-9/11 mentality that paved the way to 9/11

“So if he follows through with this, it’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency. I would argue for him to go back to the status quo. The safe zones were working. Patrolling with Turkey and international forces to protect the Kurds and Turkey is the way to go. If we pull out the Kurds are in a world of hurt and ISIS comes back, and President Trump will own it.”
- Oct 9, 2019

“If media reports are accurate and Turkey has entered northern Syriaa disaster is in the making. Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS. Will lead effort in Congress to make Erdoğan pay a heavy price. I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time by going back to the safe zone concept that was working.”

“The blame here is for Turkey. Three weeks ago I met Erdoğan at the U.N. in New York. The safe zone concept where we’d keep Turkey and the Kurds away from each other with an international force was working. A week after that, he basically lied to me, he called up President Trump saying ‘I’m going into Turkey’ and the rest is history, this quickly deteriorating inside of Syria.

“Erdogan misjudged President Trump and he sure as hell misjudged me… [The U.S. government is] going to come down on him like a tonne of bricks with Iranian-type sanctions and he deserves it.
- Oct 14, 2019

Fox News (via Newsweek), Oct 14, 2019
Lindsey Graham Says Turkey's Erdogan 'Misjudged Trump' over Syria, Has 'Made the Biggest Mistake of His Political Life'

(retrieved 11/9/19)
quote starts at 0:30

“I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys [sic] invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision. However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq. I worry we will not have allies in the future against radical Islam, ISIS will reemerge, & Iran’s rise in Syria will become a nightmare for Israel.

“I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking. The statements by President Trump about Turkey’s invasion being of no concern to us also completely undercut Vice President Pence and Sec. Pompeo’s ability to end the conflict.”

“[Trump] will have American blood on his hands if he abandons Kurds because ISIS will come back, and if any American is killed anywhere because a resurgent ISIS, it will fall on the Trump administration like it did Obama. I blame the terrorists, I blame Erdoğan for the violence, but I do look to President Trump to fix it… He’s not listening to his advisers, he’s not. He’s making the biggest mistake of his presidency by assuming the Kurds are better off today than they were yesterday. That is just unbelievable…

“I can imagine if Obama said that what Republicans would be saying now. So I’m going to say it with Trump, that is just unfair dangerous. And quite frankly, (it) is just horrible for us to abandon the Kurds. I would say that if Obama did it.”
- Oct 16, 2019

Mr. President, forget about what I’m saying about Syria. Listen to your own national security team who are telling you the consequences of your decision and the impact it will have on our nation.

“President Trump…appears to be hell-bent on making the same mistakes in Syria as President Obama made in Iraq… The worst thing any Commander in Chief can do is to give land back to the enemy that was taken through blood and sacrifice. I fear those are the consequences of the actions being taken right now.”

Mr. President, as much as I like you and want to work with you, I am going to be consistent and I will hold you accountable.”
- Oct 17, 2019

#LindseyGraham 10/9/19: "Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration." » #Graham 10/27/19: "We really don’t need a bunch of Americans in the safe zone." Click To Tweet


Oct 18 - Nov 2019

Lindsey Graham on Trump's Syria Withdrawal Now
“Appreciate being given an update by @VP Pence on the Trump Administration’s efforts in Syria. The Vice President, Secretary of State, and their teams are trying to create a win-win in Syria. We have a chance to do historic and positive things for our NATO ally, our Kurdish allies, and the people of the region. There is an opening – I hope people will take it.”

“Withhold judgment as to what’s going to happen in Syria until it’s all in. I am increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years if we play our cards right.

“I blame Erdoğan for the invasion, not Trump

“The big thing for me is the oil fields. President Trump is thinking outside the box. I was so impressed with his thinking about the oil… And, protecting Israel is the number one objective. We can do all of that with a very small force. I’m increasingly optimistic. This can turn out very well

“After Erdoğan’s invasion things have gotten scrambled in Syria, but I see a way forward now that really, quite frankly, is historic. Historic security for Turkey, historic security for the Kurds, a plan to keep ISIS down and out forever, and the chance to keep the oil fields in the hands of our allies, not enemies, would be a hell of an outcome, and I think that’s now possible.”
Oct 20, 2019 -

If we can create a sustainable Safe Zone – that protects Turkey’s national security interests and prevents the ethnic cleansing of our Kurdish allies – that will be historic progress. It is important that the international community police this Safe Zone – not Assad, not Russia, not Turkey. This can be accomplished by America providing air power to an international force, but not committing troops on the ground to control the Safe Zone.

“By continuing to maintain control of the oil fields in Syria, we will deny Assad and Iran a monetary windfall. By increasing production of the oil fields, we will be helping our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies who fought so bravely to destroy the ISIS Caliphate. We can also use some of the revenues from future oil sales to pay for our military commitment in Syria.”
Oct 23, 2019 -

Office of Sen. Lindsey Graham, Oct 23, 2019
Graham Statement on Syria

(retrieved 11/9/19)

“This whole Syrian thing, if [Trump] adjusts, it may work out

“Withhold judgment. I would say that if Turkey deserves a safe zone, because the YPG Kurds, in the eyes of Turkey, are terrorist organizations, but they also help us fight ISIS. My goal is then to separate these two parties.”
Oct 24, 2019 -

Fox News, Oct 24, 2019
Senator Lindsey Graham On Syria, Turkey Impeachment & Susan Rice

(retrieved 11/9/19)

“I understand what the president wants to do. He wants to reduce our footprint and lower our costs and he’s right to want to do that. But I’m very encouraged by what I see in Syria

“The president’s position and my position is really not that far off. We really don’t need a bunch of Americans in the safe zone. The international community should do that. But some American forces deployed with the SDF to make sure the oil never falls back in the hands of ISIS and Iran is not the biggest winner makes a lot of sense…

“What I see happening in Syria makes sense to me that the president destroyed the caliphate… If we can continue to partner with the Kurds, secure the oil revenues for their sakes, not Iran’s sake or ISIS’ sake, and help pay the cost of operations makes imminent sense to me and the president is right to say the conflict between syrian and turkey need to be resolved. A safe zone needs to be occupied by forces other than the United States. I agree with that…

“This is a win-win: The SDF will get more money if we can modernize the oil fields. We’re not going over there to enrich America. We’re over there to help our allies deny our enemy resources that will allow them to get stronger over time and finally, and this is ok, to lower the cost to us… I want to compliment the president for coming up with a model in Syria we probably should have done in Iraq.”
Oct 27, 2019 -

C-SPAN, Oct 27, 2019
Senator Lindsey Graham on Military Action Against ISIS Leader

(retrieved 11/9/19)

“I just met with President Erdoğan and President Trump about the problems we face in Syria by the military incursion by Turkey. I do hope that Turkey and Armenia can come together and deal with this problem…

“[I blocked the resolution recognizing Armenian genocide] not because of the past but because of the future.”
Nov 13, 2019 -

#LindseyGraham 10/16/19: "❲Trump❳ will have American blood on his hands if he abandons Kurds." » #Graham 10/20/19: "I blame Erdoğan for the invasion, not Trump." Click To Tweet