Wesley Clark on Trump’s Syria withdrawal: ‘Did Erdogan blackmail the president?'

Wesley Clark, the former commander of NATO's forces, on Monday questioned whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blackmailed President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE into his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.

"There doesn’t seem to be any strategic rationale for the decision. And if there’s no strategic rationale for the decision then you have to ask, why was the decision made?" the retired U.S. Army general and former NATO commander said on CNN's "New Day."

"People around the world are asking this and some of our friends and our allies in the Middle East are asking, did Erdoğan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff or something? Why would a guy make a decision like this? Because all the recommendations were against it," he added.

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Trump last week announced that the U.S. would withdraw its roughly 2,000 troops from Syria, a decision that prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOnly Donald Trump has a policy for Afghanistan New Pentagon report blames Trump troop withdrawal for ISIS surge in Iraq and Syria Mattis returns to board of General Dynamics MORE.

The decision also elicited concern among lawmakers, who have said that removing troops will aid Russia and Turkey in the region.

Trump early Monday wrote on Twitter that Erdoğan informed him that Turkey will "eradicate whatever is left" of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria.

"President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria....and he is a man who can do it plus, Turkey is right 'next door.' Our troops are coming home!" Trump wrote.

Clark, a frequent Trump critic, said on CNN that Trump's decision should be of concern to the U.S. because of what it indicates about the country's foreign policy.

"What does this say about the foreign policy of the United States? That we're not reliable? That we make strategic decisions based on no strategic logic? What kind of person is driving the helm? That’s the issue," he said.