Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, also a CNN contributor, discussed potential “unintended consequences” of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
Host Erica Hill said, “As we have been reporting, CNN is reporting about so much being unknown at this point and the fact that the concern here is that perhaps the president doesn’t understand how complicated this is, and while a number of Americans support the move to pull troops back, just doing it on a whim could be dangerous.”
Clapper said, “Exactly. I spent 13 years throughout my career in the Pentagon, and the Pentagon is an institution of planning and orderliness. There are all kinds of implications here when you withdraw, particularly doing it as we appear to be doing it in Syria, precipitously. There are all kinds of unintended consequences that will occur here, and it plays havoc in the Pentagon. The other thing, of course, is they are all on pins and needles thinking what is the next tweet we will get about deploying or withdrawing with not a lot of notice.”
After video clips of Trump saying he knows more than U.S. military officers, Clapper said, “Appalling arrogance, you know, and him portraying himself as a genius and all that sort of thing. These things are complicated. He would do well to listen to his advisers. I would point out, by the way, ISIS is not defeated, not in Syria, and it’s a good thing to remember that ISIS is other places besides Syria, like Afghanistan, where they have a prominent presence there as well. I don’t think he knows more than the generals do.”
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