Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly rebuked President Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria, saying that a supermajority in the Senate disagreed with the president’s abrupt announcement.
“I urge the President to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners,” McConnell said Monday in a statement. “Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage.”
It’s one thing for other Senators, even Lindsey Graham, to take Trump to task for this. But Moscow Mitch can make or break Trump — he holds the keys to Trump’s surviving impeachment.
Looks like Trump may be caught between the devil of Putin and the deep blue sea of McConnell.
More: Not up on the New York Times yet, but other outlets have caught it, with some very telling headlines:
Miami Herald: The Latest: McConnell splits with Trump on Syria pullout
KWWL.COM (Iowa): The Latest: McConnell splits with Trump on Syria pullout
(Both picked up the AP story)
McConnell has forced Trump to back down before. And I’m not saying this alone would push him into convicting Trump, but it might make him more open to, shall we way, looking the other way. Either way, Trump cannot come out this looking good.
OK, the NY Times does have it now — but they buried it in an existing story, 7th paragraph:
Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader and one of Mr. Trump’s staunchest advocates in the Senate, urged the president to maintain the American deployment in Syria. He also reminded Mr. Trump of a Senate vote in January that Congress rebuked him over a planned withdrawal.
“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” he said. “And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.” Trump Declares ‘Time for Us to Get Out’ of Syria as Republicans Object
Newsweek is top of this with an exclusive (H/T to Killjoy) Exclusive: Official Who Heard Call Says Trump Got 'Rolled' By Turkey and 'Has No Spine'
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the National Security Council source told Newsweek. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that's the bottom line.” [emphasis added]