House Armed Services chairman: Trump is ‘acting like drunken sailor’ on Syria troop withdrawal

The new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith (D-Wash.), said Monday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' MORE is acting like a "drunken sailor" with regards to his decisions surrounding a troop withdrawal in Syria. 

"This is very similar to the border wall issue," Smith said on CNN when responding to national security advisor John Bolton's announcement that U.S. troops would not be pulled from the region until the Islamic State is defeated.


"It shows that our president literally doesn't know what he's doing. He is making it up as he goes along based on the whims of, I guess, what he sees on Fox News, or what his mood is," Smith claimed.

Bolton said Sunday that U.S. forces wouldn't be pulled from Syria until ISIS was fully fully defeated in Syria and Iraq, according to The Associated Press.

He also said a troop withdrawal wouldn't take place until the Trump administration receives assurances that U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters would be protected.

The conditions laid out by Bolton contradicted Trump's declaration in December that troops in Syria were "coming back now."

Asked if he applauded the president for changing course, Smith responded that Trump is "changing course like a drunken sailor."

"There's no thought behind it," Smith added. "What we need is actually rational policy in Syria [and] on border security. All we have is the emotional rantings of a child, all right? And he goes back and forth depending on what the last person says to him."

Trump in December abruptly announced that ISIS had been defeated in Syria and that U.S. troops would be withdrawn from the country because of it. He's since said that ISIS is "mostly gone" and that troops would be "slowly" pulled from the region.

Smith has offered strong criticism of Trump recently. On Sunday, he said that Trump "doesn't really understand" the issue of border security.