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

Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsEPA exempts farms from reporting pollution tied to animal waste Conservatives spark threat of bloody GOP primaries Juan Williams: Anti-abortion extremism is on the rise MORE (R-Kan.) is concerned about the direction of the nation’s foreign policy during a week that saw Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisNew Defense chief: Our 'priorities remain unchanged' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump targets Iran with new sanctions Trump urged to quickly fill Pentagon post amid Iran tensions MORE's resignation and President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE's decision to withdraw troops from Syria.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.