Candidates unleash on Trump over Syria move, say he's weakening US

Candidates unleash on Trump over Syria move, say he's weakening US
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Members of the Democratic primary field unloaded on 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 over his withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria, arguing the move would weaken the U.S. position in the Middle East and security interests at home.

During an exchange over the ongoing military conflict between Turkish and Kurdish forces, several candidates at Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Ohio attacked Trump for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, and called for increased humanitarian protections for Kurdish civilians fleeing the conflict.

“We have an erratic, crazy president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy and operates out of fear for his own reelection,” 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 (D) said of Trump's Middle East policy, adding that the troop withdrawal was "the most shameful thing any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy."

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"The slaughter going on in Syria is not the consequence of American presence, it is the consequence of American withdrawal and betrayal," added South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence defends response, says Trump never 'belittled' virus threat MORE (D). "Look, I didn't think we should have gone to Iraq in the first place. I think we need to get out of Afghanistan. But it's also the case that a small number of specialized special forces and the intelligence capabilities were the only thing that stood between that part of Syria and what we're seeing now, which is the beginning of a genocide and the resurgence of ISIS."

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Hillicon Valley: T-Mobile, Sprint complete merger | Warren pushes food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees | Lawsuit accuses Zoom of improperly sharing user data Warren calls on food delivery apps to classify workers as full employees MORE (D-Mass.), a critic of the Iraq War, called for a cautious withdrawal of U.S. forces and blamed Trump for a "humanitarian disaster" erupting in northern Syria.

“I don’t think we should have troops in the Middle East, but we should do it in the right way," she said.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Schumer: Administration 'must move heaven and earth' to implement new unemployment benefits Biden associates reach out to Holder about VP search MORE (I-Vt.), a longtime skeptic of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, was the only candidate onstage to definitively say that Turkey was no longer an ally of the United States, blaming the Turkish government for "mass slaughter" of Kurdish forces and civilians.

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Trump, he added, had “wrecked America's ability to do foreign policy" by reversing U.S. foreign policy on a whim, and refusing to protect a U.S. military ally, the Kurds.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act MORE (D-N.J.) suggested that the move would strengthen Syria's Bashar Assad and Russia's Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHow oil tariffs can unite strange political bedfellows Overnight Energy: Trump says global oil production could be cut by 15M barrels | Trump to rent storage space to oil producers | EPA defends move to suspend pollution monitoring Putin tells Russians to stay home all month amid coronavirus threat MORE, and condemned the "retreat" of U.S. forces under danger from Syrian forces.

"We cannot allow the Russians to continue to grow in influence by growing on the world stage," Booker, said, adding, “This president time and time again is showing moral weakness."

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro compared what he said was the hypocrisy of Trump allowing ISIS prisoners to be freed amid chaos in northern Syria while his administration detained thousands of migrants in detention centers in the U.S.

"Think about how absurd it is that this president is caging kids on the border and effectively letting ISIS prisoners run free," Castro said. "He has made a tremendous mistake, a total disaster there in Syria. He's abandoned the very people that we gave our word to."