Sen. Lindsey Graham essentially laid the deaths of the unknown number of U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg News reports.
- The commander-in-chief's surprise Syria withdrawal announcement “set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we're fighting,” Graham said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.
- “[Trump's statements] make people we're trying to help wonder about us, and as they get bolder, the people we're trying to help are going to get more uncertain,” Graham said Wednesday, per Bloomberg News. “I saw this in Iraq. And I'm now seeing it in Syria.”
- Graham was among the most vocal Republican critics of Trump's Dec. 19 withdrawal announcement, warning that the abrupt decision to withdraw will “be viewed as a boost to ISIS desire to come back.
- Graham subsequently met with Trump on in the closing days of 2018 in an effort to slow the withdrawal effort, telling reporters that the Trump administration was “in a pause situation where we are re-evaluating what's the best way to achieve the president's objective of having people pay more and do more.”
- “He promised to destroy ISIS. He's going to keep that promise,” Graham added. “We're not there yet, but as I said today, we're inside the 10-yard line and the president understands the need to finish the job.”