GOP pollster says some Republicans view Trump’s Syria withdrawal as ‘surrender’ to Russia


Republican pollster Ed Goeas said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV’s “What America’s Thinking” that some Republicans view President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria as a surrender to Russia. 

“What I have seen in some of the focus groups that is somewhat disconcerting is some of the Republicans feel that Trump’s position in this was basically a surrender to the Russians, who wanted us out of Syria,” Goeas, CEO and president of the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on Wednesday.

“They’re viewing it not as ISIS, they’re viewing it as this is Trump again, giving something to the Russians that the Russians want,” he continued. 

Trump announced last month that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was defeated in Syria and that the U.S. would begin pulling troops from the war-torn country. 

The U.S., Russia and Syrian President Bashar Assad have all opposed ISIS, but the U.S. and other countries have been vocal opponents of Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, as well as Russia’s support of his government. 

A new Hill-HarrisX survey released on Thursday found that 35 percent of Americans believe that ISIS is not defeated and that the U.S. should maintain troops in Syria. 

Thirty-one percent of those polled said U.S. troops should never have been deployed to Syria. Another 24 percent polled said they believe the terror organization has been defeated but troops are still needed in Syria. Ten percent said ISIS has been defeated and that troops are no longer necessary in the country. 

— Julia Manchester 

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