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Collins: Trump is going to have to reconsider withdrawal from Syria after reported chemical attack

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKlain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' Overnight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe, effective in FDA analysis | 3-4 million doses coming next week | White House to send out 25 million masks Biden's picks face peril in 50-50 Senate MORE (R-Maine) said on Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE is going to have to reconsider his plans to pull U.S. troops from Syria following an alleged chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians. 

"I think the president is going to have to reconsider his plan for an early withdrawal in light of what has happened," Collins told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union."

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The president suggested last week that he wanted to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. 

“I want to get out. I want to bring those troops home," Trump said at a news conference with leaders from Baltic states.
 
"Seven trillion dollars in the Middle East over the last 17 years, we get nothing out of it … except death and destruction. It’s a horrible thing.” 

Collins went on to say the attack presents an opportunity for Trump to increase pressure on Russia and the Kremlin's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

"Last time this happened, the president did a targeted attack to take out some of the facilities. That may be an option that we should consider now, but it is further reason why it is so important that the president ramp up the pressure and the sanctions on the Russian government because, without the support of Russia, I do not believe that Assad would still be in office," Collins said. 

Trump on Sunday lashed out at Russia for its support of the Syrian government in a tweet on Sunday. 

 

The State Department also called for the Kremlin to end its support for Assad. 

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement that Russia “ultimately bears responsibility for these brutal attacks.”

"The United States calls on Russia to end this unmitigated support immediately and work with the international community to prevent further barbaric chemical weapons attacks,” she said.