WATCH: Suddenly Shocked Republicans Were Warned Trump Would Be Useful Idiot on Syria … By Trump
Almost every Republican is apoplectic at Donald Trump‘s snap decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but they had ample warning that Trump would be an erratic hot mess on this exact issue, and that warning came from Trump himself.
From the earliest days of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump made clear, in speech after speech, that his position was to cede Syria to Russia, and let the Russians, Syrians, and ISIS fight it out.
At the second GOP debate in 2015, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Trump what he would do to get Russia out of Syria, and Trump’s response was to ask “Why are we fighting ISIS in Syria? Let them fight each other and pick up the remnants. I would talk to [Putin], I would get along with him.”
Trump’s plan to abandon Syria to the Russians and then swoop in later to pick up the “remnants” wasn’t some off-the-cuff response to debate pressure. It was part of his stump.
But Trump also predicted the recklessness and ignorance that Republicans are now rebelling against. During a speech in Keane, New Hampshire, Trump told the crowd that he had a plan for Syria, and that he would spring it without notice.
“So when they asked me about, like, what do I want to do with Syria, I know what I want to do,” Trump told the crowd. “Believe me, you’re going to be happy. But I don’t want to tell, I don’t want them to say well Trump’s going to do this, so we’ll do this. I want to be unpredictable. So important. It’s so important.”
He added that “If you’re unpredictable, the stupid people are going to say, “Oh well, he doesn’t know that much.”
Yeah, about that. In the same speech, Trump claimed that the “Soviet Union” wants to go into Syria, and that “Syria wants to fight Assad,” who is the president of Syria, and once again argued that the United States should let them fight it out and “take over the remnants.”
Watch the clip above, via C-Span.
Trump’s incoherence on Syria hasn’t changed a bit, as he has gone from declaring victory over ISIS to crowing that others will have to fight ISIS “without us” inthe space of a few hours, perhaps the shortest-lived total victory since The Heidi Bowl. And Trump is also now insisting that Russia isn’t happy about the withdrawal, even as Russian dictator Vladimir Putin publicly praises it.
So Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who have supported and enabled Trump throughout his tenure in office, have only themselves to blame for the catastrophe they now predict. In fact, there was one guy who tried to get Congress to exercise some authority in Syria, and his name was Barack Obama. How did that work out again?
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.