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

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback The Memo: Concern over shutdown grows in Trump World Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal MORE (R-Maine) said on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values 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.