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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday stepped up his criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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 PompeoProtests serve as backdrop to Erdoğan's visit to White House Chris Wallace: Taylor testimony 'very damaging to President Trump' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings 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.