Romney calls Trump's Syria decision a 'betrayal' of Kurds

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPoll: More Republican voters think party is more united than Democratic voters Granting cash payments is a conservative principle 7 things to know about the coronavirus stimulus package MORE (R-Utah) on Monday knocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE's decision to pull back U.S. troops in northern Syria, joining a chorus of high-profile Republicans breaking with the president.

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"The President’s decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal. It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster," Romney tweeted. 

 

The White House announced late Sunday that Ankara was moving forward with a long-threatened offensive in northeastern Syria and that U.S. troops would not be in the “immediate area” when it happens. 

Trump doubled down on the decision on Monday, tweeting that it was time to pull the United States out of "ridiculous Endless War."

"WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN,” the president added.

Around 1,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in northeastern Syria, where they work closely with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces in the region. 

Trump's move was quickly panned by several GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Trump says he's considering restricting travel to coronavirus 'hot spots' MORE (R-S.C.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPompeo: Countries must 'step up,' provide 'transparent' coronavirus information to save lives China did not count coronavirus positives if patient had no symptoms: report Trump seeks to sell public on his coronavirus response MORE (R-Fla.), who serve with Romney on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Republicans say the decision will bolster the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and put the lives of Kurdish allies in the region at risk. 

Romney's public pushback comes after Trump spent the weekend lashing out at the GOP senator, including calling him a "pompous ass" and suggesting he should be impeached

"I’m hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats! #IMPEACHMITTROMNEY," Trump tweeted.

Romney is part of a small group of GOP senators who have publicly pushed back against Trump for saying late last week that China and Ukraine should investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims The Memo: Scale of economic crisis sends shudders through nation The Hill's Campaign Report: Coronavirus forces Democrats to postpone convention MORE and his son Hunter Biden. 

"When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated," Romney said in a statement on Friday. 

Romney also voiced concerns late last month about the phone call where Trump asked the Ukrainian government to help his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGoogle to spend .5 million in fight against coronavirus misinformation Hillicon Valley: FCC chief proposes 0M telehealth program | Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus| Whole Foods workers plan Tuesday strike 12 things to know today about coronavirus MORE, look into the issue. There's been no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.  

"I did read the transcript. It remains troubling in the extreme. It's deeply troubling," Romney told reporters last week. "Clearly what we've seen from the transcript itself is deeply troubling."