Early Monday morning, Trump announced that he would be pulling troops from northeastern Syria as part of his promise to end wars in the Middle East and keep “America First.”
The decision, however, has been controversial among Republicans because a U.S. withdrawal would mean that Turkey will likely control the region, putting America’s Kurdish allies at risk.
The Kurds have been a key regional ally to the U.S. throughout its involvement, especially in the battle to contain ISIS in northeastern Syria.
Trump has maintained that he would “obliterate” Turkey’s economy if they harmed the Kurds, but it still has many people questioning the decision.
McCain, who shares similar hawkish foreign policy principles to her late father John McCain, called out Trump for “abandoning” the Kurds in northern Syria.
Watch McCain’s remarks below:
“I’ve been so mad this morning and so upset about this news that we are abandoning our Kurdish allies in the Middle East. These are allies of ours that American soldiers are still continuing to fight alongside. All we did was arm them and they fought for America. Right now we’re just saying we’re just going to leave them and abandon them. And to everyone in the White House and every Republican who was mad President Obama pulled out of Iraq, you feckless unpatriotic cowards. I cannot believe this is where we’re at, diplomatic-wise. And I cannot believe this. What message is this sending to our allies who have fought alongside us and to our American troops who have fought and died for this? And I cannot believe I’m waking up in the morning seeing this kind of news and I don’t care that he ran on pulling troops out.”
McCain called the decision a “great day for ISIS.” She also claimed that this decision by Trump may be a “wag-the-dog situation,” meaning the president is causing chaos in the Middle East to distract from his own impeachment that has saturated the news cycle for the past two weeks.