GOP senator on Syria pullout: 'Bad people' will fill the void

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Pressure builds on Pompeo as impeachment inquiry charges ahead GOP lawmakers fear Trump becoming too consumed by impeachment fight MORE (R-Kan.) is concerned about the direction of the nation’s foreign policy during a week that saw Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisFormer Mattis staffer: Trump 'shooting himself in the foot' on foreign policy Former staffer hits back at Mattis's office over criticism of tell-all book Former speechwriter for General James Mattis: Has the national security state grappled with Donald Trump? MORE's resignation and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.


“I think when you leave an area where it's very troublesome in terms of our national security overall you leave a void and bad people fill it and then you have a much bigger problem,” Roberts told reporters Monday.

Roberts indicated he's worried by the abruptness of Trump’s recent decisions and disregard of Defense recommendations. 

“I'm just worried about the overall policy, if all of a sudden on a Thursday morning we find out that we are taking half of our troops out of Afghanistan. What signal does that send? And it's not a good signal,” Roberts continued. Trump is also reportedly considering removing some troops from Afghanistan.

Roberts, who previously chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee and served on the Armed Services Committee, said while he once held a position similar to Trump's on foreign policy after Vietnam, he has changed his tune over time.

“It's just a different time, so I think you have to be fully engaged in areas where our national security team says that this is a real problem. … I'm always worried about national security because that danger will never go away,” he said.