Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) interrupted a confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr to issue a rebuke of President Donald Trump over his Syria policy.
The president has walked back his claim that the Islamic State has been defeated after announcing a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, where four American service members were killed Wednesday in an attack claimed by the militant group.
“I want to make a quick statement,” Graham said during the hearing. “My concern by the statements made by President Trump is that you set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting, you make people who are trying to help wonder about us, and as they get bolder, the people who are trying to help are going to get more uncertain.”
Graham, an outspoken Trump supporter, warned the president not too remove troops until Syria was more stable.
“I saw this in Iraq, I’m now seeing it in Syria,” Graham said. “Every American wants our troops to come home, but when they do come home, we’re safe.”
“Think what you want to about those people over there, they’ve had enough of killing,” he added. “They would love to have the opportunity we have to fix their problems without the force of violence. I would hope the president would look long and hard where he’s headed in Syria.”