Armed Services Chair Says Trump Handling Syria Like ‘Drunken Sailor’ with ‘Emotional Rantings of a Child’
On CNN, new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) was on CNN on Monday when he took some hard shots at Donald Trump. This comes a day after his big Sunday talk show interview on ABC’s This Week where he cautioned against too much enthusiasm for impeachment.
If it was a course correction in tone, it was a full effort, going from a sort of paternal restraint to a much more “liberal on Twitter” snark quality. He even got went casual in his dress, ditching the tie for purple plaid as well as prose.
The topic was, ostensibly, Syria. After National Security Advisor John Bolton this weekend offered ex post facto conditions to Trump’s hasty withdrawal uttering, CNN’s Kate Bolduan asked Smith whether he or anyone knows the actual timeline. Considering Smith is the new chair of the Armed Services Committee, that’s a relevant topic. Smith first, however, went for familiar, broad stroke characterizations of Trump.
“This is very similar to the border wall issue,” said Smith. “It shows that our president literally doesn’t know what he’s doing. He is making it up as he goes along based on the whims of, I guess, what he sees on Fox News, or what his mood is.”
He called Bolton’s observations of the problems with hasty withdrawal “blindingly obvious”, twice, and said the President just “blew right past it to say pull them out.”
Bolduan then asked if Smith would “in some way applaud him for changing course,” to which he replied rather non-plussed, “who?”
“The president,” Bolduan replied.
“The president hasn’t changed course,” said Smith.
Bolduan asked who it is that speaks for the country on foreign policy, Bolton or Trump, and Smith said the president does because he is the president “unfortunately.”
“He’s changing course like a drunken sailor, okay? There’s no thought behind it,” said Smith, going for the heat. ‘What we need is actually rational policy in Syria on border security. All we have is the emotional rantings of a child, alright? And he goes back and forth depending on what the last person said to him.”
Bolduan asked about the timeline again, and what the policy is for withdrawal.
“Nobody on Earth knows because the president makes it up as he goes along, and that is terrible,” he said.
Smith elaborated on the process of withdrawal and the need to do it carefully, and said that the president’s way of “operating on the whims of his emotions” is “disastrous” and “ultimately why [former Defense Secretary James Mattis] left.”
“It wasn’t just the decisions, it was the way the president made them, you know, like a 4-year-old,” he said. “And we cannot govern the world, we cannot have relationships with our allies, and have a clear foreign policy when he flits all over the place with no intelligent rationale.”
“At some point he’s going to have to take a briefing, he’s going to have to read a book, he’s going to have to understand what is going on in the world, instead of just making it up as he goes along,” said Smith. “Because we’re all going to pay a horrible price for it.”
Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.
[Featured image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org