‘Pardon my French. That’s a complete lie. That’s a complete, absolute lie…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., didn’t seem to think much of some of the questions posed to him by anchor Dana Bash of CNN.
When asked if President Trump would be to blame if the Islamic State grew stronger following U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, Graham suggested that any unrest in the area would lie at the feet of Barack Obama.
“Everything we’re dealing with today falls on Obama’s watch,” said Graham, known as a war hawk. “He’s the one who withdrew from Iraq.”
Bash, of course, did not let the criticism of the former president go unchallenged.
“But he did it because there was a Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, right?” she countered.
“Listen,” said an angry Graham. “No, that’s a bunch of bullsh**. Pardon my French. That’s a complete lie. That’s a complete, absolute lie.”
Graham said that when Obama withdrew troops, at the time he hoped it would be the correct decision, but he also was afraid that the nation would come to regret the decision. While Obama boasted during the 2012 presidential campaign about ending the war in Iraq, Graham and other Republicans argued that troop withdrawal would create a power vacuum.
That power vacuum was indeed filled by ISIS.
“ISIS came about as a result of our withdrawal from Iraq,” Graham explained. “The caliphate was established in Syria because Obama sat on the sidelines and watched the place be dismembered.”
Trump’s announcement that the United States would be withdrawing from Syria was met with similar dismay by hawks like Graham, who termed it “chaos.”
But other conservatives who hold more isolationist views celebrated the decision.
Graham said Sunday that he was reassured about Trump’s commitment to defeating ISIS after meeting with the president.
Although he still may not see things Trump’s way on the Syria issue, overall says he’s “very pleased” with the Trump administration and is grateful for the access he’s been granted to the president. He hopes he’ll come to reconsider.
“He was dealt a bad hand by Obama, and he needs to play it better than he’s playing it,” he assessed.