Few on the right have been as outspoken about President Donald Trump following up on a campaign promise to get the U.S. out of the “never-ending wars” in the Middle East than “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade.
White House spokesperson Mercedes Schlapp appeared on the Fox News early morning program and was challenged by Kilmeade to name an adviser that told the president to pull 2,000 troops out of Syria.
“I’m not going to get into the internal discussions of how the decision was made,” Schlapp said. “At the end of the day, we all serve in the position of advising the president. It is up to the president to make the final decision.”
“We knew from the moment he started his campaign where he stood on Syria,” she continued. “Which was that we were going to ensure the defeat of the territorial caliphate in Syria — and the president and this administration and our troops have done that.”
The exchange came after co-host Griff Jenkins noted that President Trump moved up the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis from the end of February to January 1.
Jenkins asked if Trump was frustrated that his decision has been “blown out of proportion” and Schlapp said, “the president feels very strongly about his decision in Syria.”
She noted that some “hawkish” senators have their own ideas, but said Trump has made the decision that we have done our job in Syria and that it’s time to bring our troops home.
Schlapp said Trump has spoken to the Turkish president about finishing any remaining ISIS presence and reassured Kilmeade over his concerns that Turkey will “annihilate” our Kurdish allies there.
In a “Fox & Friends” segment with Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy, Kilmeade suggested the withdrawal could result in more terrorist attacks in the US by radicalized extremists.
“What he is going to do early is a classic America pull the foot off the throats early and it’s going to make everyone’s security more perilous.”
McCarthy, who said he never agreed with US troops going into Syria, supports the president’s decision.
Kilmeade was tough on Trump on Thursday’s “Fox & Friends,” calling his plan to withdraw US troops from Syria “irresponsible.”
“Meanwhile, in a stunning and I think irresponsible move yesterday, the president blindsided his secretary of defense, national security adviser, people on the outside who have been advising him like Gen. Jack Keane, as well as his State Department, and decides he’s going to immediately evacuate 2,000 troops,” Kilmeade said. “And the State Department is already packing their bags. We are leaving Syria.”
He acknowledged that there has been great success against ISIS, but insisted that “it wasn’t a victory.”
In an “Fox & Friends” interview Friday with White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, Kilmeade pulled no punches on the decision to pull the troops, which resulted in Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigning.
The “Fox & Friends” co-host told Sanders that Trump just “re-founded ISIS.”
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