Graham, one of Trump's strongest defenders, has taken a step with the president over his sudden decision to withdraw US military personnel, triggering a widespread condemnation by Republicans and Democrats. The Turkish forces deepened their offensive against the Kurds on Thursday.
Graham criticized Trump for his decision, beating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a Citadel Military College press conference in Charleston.
President has left the people who helped us destroy the IS, the chaos is in the making, and when I hear that the President "We're out of Syria," I tell you that this is worse than What Obama has done, "said Graham compared trump card to former President Barack Obama." When Obama left Iraq, hell broke loose, and if you think, Mr. President, ISIS is only a threat to Europe, then understand She really does not. ISIS wants to be after us all. Not just Europeans.
When a reporter asked if this could become Trump's Vietnam, Graham replied, "No, that's worse. "
Graham reported meeting with Erdogan two weeks ago, in which he told the Turkish leader that a" win-win situation "would be a situation in which an American-led international force would create a safe zone, the Turkey protects against the Kurds and vice versa.
He also told Erdogan, "If you go to Syria and try to cope with it through a military operation, I will smash your economy, you will put the American people in a bad position, you will abandon us somebody, who helped us destroy ISIS ̵
1; and you really did a lot to create ISIS by creating open streams of foreign fighters into Syria.
Meanwhile, the House's three leading Republicans – Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (California), Whip Steve Scalise (La.), And Conference Chair Liz Cheney (Wyo) – announced this and dozens of their GOP counterparts would be introduced Laws imposing sanctions on Turkey for its military offensive against US-allied Kurdish forces.
The law is similar to what Graham and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Proposed.
"If Turkey Wants To Be Treated Like An Ally, It Must Start To Behave Like One. They must be punished for their attacks on our Kurdish allies, "Cheney said in a statement.
At his press conference, Graham emphasized that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked people to "pray for the Kurds."
I think he sends a message to the Americans, "Graham said. "You must stand by the Kurds, for if you abandon them, the forces that oppose us will take over Syria."
Graham spoke emphatically after declaring in a report this summer that he understood Turkey's position with the Kurds and called it "a threat".
Graham made the comments when he answered his phone in August to discuss foreign policy with what he considered the Turkish Minister of Defense. He talked for 16 minutes about Russia and Syria and Trump's reflections on these issues, but at the other end of the line he was not a Turkish official, but a well-known Russian joke.
The call was first reported on Thursday by Politico.
] Days after this first call, the Pranksters called again to Graham, according to Politico. Graham told them what he'd said to Trump about Graham's first phone call to the man he thought was the Secretary of Defense.
"We want a better relationship with Turkey. That's exactly what he wants, "Graham said on the phone call.
Itkowitz reported from Washington.