Mitch McConnell urges Trump to reconsider Syria pullback

It’s not every day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are on the same page, but today is that day.

McConnell released a statement Monday afternoon breaking with President Trump on his recent decision to pull back troops from Northern Syria as Turkey prepares a military incursion.

“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell says. “And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup. I urge the president to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners.”


He concludes by suggesting the Trump administration is at risk of succumbing to what he sees as the foreign policy failings of the Obama administration, writing that “American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”

This came as Trump was facing a flood of criticism from the right including from one of his biggest allies in the Senate, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who wrote that the decision will have “disastrous consequences for our national security.”

Almost immediately after McConnell’s statement, Pelosi released a statement of her own urging Trump to reconsider as well, though with far harsher language. Pelosi calls Trump’s move a “reckless, misguided decision” that “betrays our Kurdish allies” in “a foolish attempt to appease an authoritarian strongman.” Amid this bipartisan criticism, Trump defended the move in a tweet in which he touts his own “great and unmatched wisdom.”