President Donald Trump responded Wednesday to criticism from Sen. Lindsey Graham about his lack of action in Syria to protect the Kurds.
“Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers, fighting other people’s wars,” Trump said, criticizing the South Carolina senator’s position.
Trump spoke about Graham in response to a question from ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl during a press conference at the White House with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Graham voiced his strong opposition to Trump’s lack of action in Syria, publicly criticizing the president for suggesting countries like Russia, Iran, and Turkey should secure Syria and protect the Kurds.
“I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq,” Graham said on Wednesday.
Trump suggested that Graham was overreaching his authority.
“I think Lindsey should focus on Judiciary,” Trump replied.
The president even hinted that Graham was out of step with his constituents, as the senator faces reelection in 2020.
“The people of South Carolina don’t want us to get into a war with Turkey, a NATO member, or with Syria. Let them fight their own wars; they’ve been fighting for a thousand years,” Trump said.
The president reminded the press that he campaigned on bringing the troops home from the Middle East.
“I won an election on that, and that’s the way it is, whether it’s good or bad. That’s the way it is,” he said.