Graham on Syria: Trump appears 'hell-bent' on repeating Obama's mistakes in Iraq

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE appears "hell-bent" on repeating former President Obama's mistakes in Iraq after Trump said Graham should focus on investigating the 2016 election rather than the Middle East. 

"President Trump is being told EXACTLY what President Obama was told before he withdrew from Iraq. He appears to be hell-bent on making the same mistakes in Syria as President Obama made in Iraq," Graham tweeted.

"The worst thing any Commander in Chief can do is to give land back to the enemy that was taken through blood and sacrifice. I fear those are the consequences of the actions being taken right now," he added. 

Trump on Wednesday said Graham shouldn't focus on the Middle East and said the senator would like troops to remain there "for the next thousand years." 


"Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people's wars. I want to get out of the Middle East," Trump said at a press conference. 

He added that Graham should focus on his role as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and look into allegations of corruption during the 2016 election involving Obama administration officials. The president said Graham should look into former President Obama, former CIA Director James Brennan and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight MORE, but did not give evidence that they acted corruptly. 

"That’s what Lindsey ought to focus on," Trump said. "That's what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on."

"The people of South Carolina don't want us to get into a war with Turkey, a NATO member, over Syria," he said. "Let them fight their own wars."

Graham has been a staunch ally of the president, but has expressed strong disapproval of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.   

He has previously said he thinks the decision, which was followed by a Turkish military offensive in Syria, put both U.S. security and Trump's presidency at risk. 

"When it comes to America's national security I will NEVER be quiet," Graham also said in tweets on Wednesday. 

"Mr. President, forget about what I’m saying about Syria. Listen to your own national security team who are telling you the consequences of your decision and the impact it will have on our nation," he added. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.  

The White House announced last week that Turkey would begin an operation in northern Syria and that U.S. troops wouldn't be "in the immediate area."