Pompeo, Joint Chiefs chairman challenged Trump plans to withdraw from Syria: report

Greg Nash

President Trump clashed with members of his national security team at a meeting to discuss the future of American troops in Syria, CNN reported Wednesday.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford reportedly warned Trump against pulling U.S. forces out of Syria. Pompeo, who Trump has tapped as his pick for secretary of State, told the president pulling out of the war-torn country would be a mistake.

Dunford asked Trump to explain what he wanted to see happen in Syria, CNN reported.

{mosads}CNN reported that Trump was annoyed by the pushback, but ultimately agreed to leave U.S. troops there for the time being.

However, the president reportedly stressed that the U.S. military presence would not extend beyond the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and has told the Pentagon to prepare for a withdrawal.

The reported clash with advisers comes after Trump has in recent days said he expects to bring troops home from Syria “very soon.”

On Tuesday, Trump suggested the possibility of extending the U.S. military presence in Syria — as long as other countries, potentially including Saudi Arabia, pay for it.

“Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision. I said, ‘Well, you want us to stay, maybe you are going to have to pay,’ ” Trump said during a press conference with Baltic leaders. “It’s very costly for our country and it helps other countries a hell of a lot more than it helps us.”

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump ISIS Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Syria
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