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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAdvocates see pilot program to address inequalities from highways as crucial first step Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves 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 ToddDemocrats optimistic as social spending bill heads to Senate GOP senator: Decisions on bills not made based on if they hurt or help Trump or Biden Buttigieg dismisses reported rivalry with Harris 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by everybody but the United States — Russia, Iran, Turkey — and we are nowhere because American leadership has been withdrawn."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.