GOP senator defends Trump's decision on Syria

GOP senator defends Trump's decision on Syria
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week MORE (R-N.D.) on Sunday defended President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move that preceded an offensive by Turkish forces against Kurdish allies of the U.S. in the region.


"I wish it had been different, I can tell you that, but I'm not sure the president had a lot of choices," Cramer said in an interview with CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperLawmakers spar over upcoming Sondland testimony Murphy: Sondland has to decide if his loyalty is to America or Trump House Intelligence Republican: Trump Yovanovitch tweet 'not witness intimidation' MORE.

Cramer said the president's decision was not "binary" as he had to decide whether the U.S. would stay and fight the Turks if they attacked the Kurds.

"I think the president at that point has a not so much a binary choice, decision to make as to which friend if you will do we stand with in this circumstance," Cramer said.

"We can't be in the middle of every skirmish in the neighborhood," he added. 

A number of GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate have blasted Trump's decision, saying it essentially stabbed a loyal U.S. ally in the back. 

Trump has defended the decision by stating that the U.S. cannot be involved in all of the endless wars in the Middle East. He's also said he will act to sanction Turkey if they go too far with their offensive against the Kurds.

Defense Secretary Mike Esper on Sunday also defended Trump's decision, even as he harshly criticized Turkey's actions.


Turkey, a NATO country, launched an attack against Kurdish troops based in Syria after the president announced U.S. troops would leave Syria.