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

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRomney released from hospital after fall over the weekend Kinzinger: Trump just wants to 'stand in front of a crowd and be adored' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE (R-Utah) on Monday knocked President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend 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 GrahamJuan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP Portman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission MORE (R-S.C.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP senators question Amazon on removal of book about 'transgender moment' CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Watch live: Day 2 at CPAC 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 BidenSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Rural Americans are the future of the clean energy economy — policymakers must to catch up WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year 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 GiulianiGiuliani again suspended from YouTube over false election claims Sacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug 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."