In a major shift, Republicans have not been shy about criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the United States Kurdish allies to Turkey in Syria including Trump sycophant Senator Lindsey Graham.
Now, the man that no one ever expects to criticize Trump has spoken up. The man who earned the hashtag #MoscowMitch over his unwavering support of the President, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued an official statement Monday condemning Trump’s Syria policy, although without naming the man whose policy he is criticizing.
New McConnell statement on Trump's Syria decision: “Abandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would re-create the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS." pic.twitter.com/pbfTBPMgWZ
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) October 14, 2019
A press release released by McConnell stated:
“I am gravely concerned by recent events in Syria and by our nation’s apparent response thus far.”
McConnell pointed out Turkey’s current inclusion in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):
“Turkey is our NATO ally and has legitimate security concerns stemming from the conflict in Syria. But Turkey’s offensive against our Syrian Kurdish partners is jeopardizing years of hard-won progress in the fight against ISIS.”
But while the United States’ Kurdish allies cannot join a treaty alliance like NATO without a homeland, the Senate Majority Leader pointed out the longstanding relationship with the Kurds.
“For years, the United States and our Syrian Kurdish partners have fought heroically to corner ISIS and destroy its physical caliphate. Abandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would re-create the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS. And such a withdrawal would also create a broader power vacuum in Syria that will be exploited by Iran and Russia, a catastrophic outcome for the United States’ strategic interests.”
The Kentucky Senator who is up for reelection in 2020 reiterated the objections everyone gave for early military withdrawal from Syria.
“Withdrawing American leadership from this pivotal region would not serve our nation’s short-, medium-, or long-term interests. It would only make a troubling situation much worse, not only for regional partners such as Israel and Jordan but for the United States as well.”
However, McConnell provided no definitive plan for action beyond talking to other Senate Republicans and the White House.
New McConnell statement on Trump’s Syria decision: “Abandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would re-create the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS.” pic.twitter.com/pbfTBPMgWZ
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) October 14, 2019
“gravely concerned by recent events in Syria nation’s apparent response thus far”@senatemajldr No sir it was one person, without any council that lead to the #TurkishInvasion #SayHisName @realDonaldTrump. #KurdsBetrayedByDonaldTrump #KurdsBetrayedByGOP #kurds #SyriaWithdrawal
— Golden Nugget (@Goldennugget85) October 14, 2019
McConnell finally criticizing the President however came a bit late for many.
Wow! Where #MoscowMitch been couple days ago?
— JDC (@Oxford19Uru) October 14, 2019
— Stephanie (Not A Bot) (@Steph01802737) October 14, 2019
People called out McConnell for being complicit, enabling and his obstructionism.
McConnell has propped up Trump for years. This is on him too.
— Joyous Panther (@JoyousPanther) October 14, 2019
GOP doesn’t grasp the difference between getting on the Trump Train and being dragged behind it
— Calvin Graves (@CDG_GTR) October 14, 2019
@senatemajldr too late. Good people are dead, our troops are at risk and ISIS has been unleashed. This is on YOU and the @GOP who put party over country and allowed @realDonaldTrump to do this. #MoscowMitch #LeningradLindsey #PutinsPuppet
— Kathy Buckley (@kathyb5783) October 14, 2019
The current administration looks absolutely schizoid. It is absolutely clear that Trump is little more than an impetuous child that requires supervision and management. Mitch has helped bring about this situation about through his on-going support of Trump. Take responsibility!
— philipq_1789 (@philipq50167670) October 14, 2019
And he’ll have the Senate acquit Trump on a voice vote, five minutes after the Articles of Impeachment pass the House.
— Grytpype-Thynne 🗽🌊 (@GrytpypeOBE) October 14, 2019
— John 🏳️🌈🔞🏴 (@oldcheshiregit) October 14, 2019
Others criticized the tepid response—lacking in urgency.
“Would”? “WOULD?” He already did it. People are dying right now. Children are being bombed. Civilians are being executed.
— Loretta Boo Ross 👻😱👻 (@lorettasueross) October 14, 2019
It’s okay, guys, Mitch is going to discuss it with his fellow Senators when they get back next week.
Because, you know, surely nothing bad will happen in Syria before NEXT WEEK.
— Retro42 (@Retro_42) October 14, 2019
WTH?? McConnell acts like this is a policy under consideration, that opinions are being sought, discussions had. Its a done deal, its over. The only question is how bad the damage will be.
— Gordon Jones (@gordonsjones1) October 14, 2019
Oh so he’s been waiting for the new session to begin. His phone must be broken! Maybe you can use FaceTime! pic.twitter.com/kccJ9mb4cI
— Raymond (@RayfieldsSr) October 14, 2019
The House and Senate return on Tuesday, October 15. Whether McConnell takes further action remains to be seen.