The bi-partisan frustration over President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria continues to grow. Now Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends” suggested that the president has “re-founded ISIS” by pulling out.
As reported by The Hill, Kilmeade gave his explosive criticism of the president during an interview with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday morning.
“He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS,” Kilmeade told Sanders. “He just refounded ISIS because they have 30,000 men there and they are already striking back with our would-be evacuation. The president is really on the griddle with this.”
Sanders pushed back against Kilmeade’s characterization of the consequences of the president’s actions, asserting that blaming Trump for ISIS resurrecting itself is “outrageous.”
“The idea that the president has had anything to do with helping ISIS reemerge is absolutely outrageous,” she said.
“Leaving is helping,” Kilmeade shot back. “Leaving is helping.”
Sanders said that if ISIS were to become a genuine threat in the region, then President Trump would answer them with deadly force. “If ISIS wants to pick a fight with somebody, they sure as heck don’t want to pick one with Donald Trump because he will destroy them and defeat them,” she said. “He’s made that extremely clear.”
When Sanders asserted that the U.S. had “wiped out 99 percent of ISIS in Syria,” Kilmeade said that “word on the ground” differs from what the White House says.
As noted by The Hill, Kilmeade had previously criticized President Trump earlier this morning for pulling out of Syria and leaving Kurdish forces in the area alone. “We are now abandoning the Kurds who are about three weeks away from total slaughter,” Kilmeade said. “All they have done for us is show total allegiance to us and they trusted us, and now we will never get another ally in that region.”
President Trump’s withdrawal from Syria culminated in the resignation of Secretary of Defense General Mattis on Thursday, who issued thinly veiled criticism of Trump in his resignation letter.
“Our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnership,” he said. “Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world.”
“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”
The New York Times reported that Mattis resigned in protest of Trump’s decision. “Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon in a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to keep American troops in Syria. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as a result,” the outlet said.
Some Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), however, support President Trump’s decision, agreeing that the U.S. should not be the world’s police.
“Ultimately, self-determination is about the people who live there standing up and fighting,” Paul said while appearing on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday.