Buttigieg: Trump undermining US credibility 'is going to cost us for years and years'

Buttigieg: Trump undermining US credibility 'is going to cost us for years and years'
© Greg Nash

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (D) said Sunday that 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 approach to foreign policy will “cost us for years and years” on the world stage.

Buttigieg, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” assailed what he called the inconsistency of Trump’s foreign policy, particularly in the wake of his withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeastern Syria.

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"What President Trump does is wake up in the morning, have a phone call or maybe a tweet and completely change years, or even decades, of U.S. policy, surprising his own generals and country in the process," Buttigieg, a military veteran, told host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddChuck Todd on impeachment hearing: Part of GOP 'just not accepting facts that are facts' Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations Brown confirms he won't enter 2020 race: 'I think it's a good field' MORE.

"If we think that there is a commitment, a treaty or a deal that we can improve on we go to the table and we make it happen. But the credibility of the United States is something that our lives depend on. And when the president undermines it with things like the action in Syria, that is going to cost us for years and years," he added. "We've got to be a country known to keep its word."

The Democratic presidential candidate also said that Trump's decision meant that the future of the area was "being decided by everybody but the United States."
 
"We know that we need to promote stability, that we need to stand by our allies and that there will be legitimate Turkish security concerns that will also be part of the equation," he said. "But right now what's happening is the future over there is being decided by everybody but the United States — Russia, Iran, Turkey — and we are nowhere because American leadership has been withdrawn."

The Syria pullout has drawn bipartisan condemnation, with critics of the move calling it a betrayal of Kurdish forces that the U.S. backed in the fight against ISIS. Vice President Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a cease-fire last week, but Turkish forces have already accused the Kurds of violating it.