Graham warns Trump Syria pullout could be 'complete and utter national security disaster'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Barr to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday stepped up his criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, saying it could be a “complete and utter national security disaster in the making.”

“I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkeys invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won’t come back to haunt us, ISIS won’t reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision,” Graham tweeted.


“However, I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq,” he added.

Graham, who is normally one of Trump's strongest Senate supporters, also said he was concerned that “we will not have allies in the future against radical Islam, ISIS will reemerge, & Iran’s rise in Syria will become a nightmare for Israel. I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking.”

Trump earlier in the day defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region ahead of a Turkish offensive, while adding that the Kurdish fighters who had fought ISIS on behalf of the U.S. are “not angels.”

The president's comments, Graham said, "also completely undercut" Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoLimbaugh: Democrats who set up George W. Bush to go to war with Iraq now organizing 'silent coup' against Trump Overnight Defense: Seven day 'reduction in violence' starts in Afghanistan | US, Taliban plan to sign peace deal Feb. 29 | Trump says top intel job has four candidates Former US ambassador Yovanovitch lands a book deal: report MORE’s "ability to end the conflict." 

Pence and Pompeo are traveling to Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the hope of brokering a cease-fire. However, Erdoğan has already shot the possibility down, according to Turkish media reports.

Updated at 2:29 p.m.