'Biggest Lie by This Admin'

Lindsey Graham Slams Trump for Syria Withdrawal

Graham calls Trump claim that ISIS has been defeated 'the biggest lie told by this administration', vows to push for bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if it invades Syria

Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during a roundtable at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, July 12, 2019
\ VERONICA CARDENAS/ REUTERS

WASHINGTON — In a rare attack on U.S. President Donald Trump's policies, a senior Republican senator said Monday that Trump's withdrawal from Syria is "a big win for Iran and ISIS."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a leading voice within his party on foreign policy and usually a very strong supporter of Trump, made the comment during an interview with the pro-Trump Fox News network.

Read more: Defying Pentagon, Trump backs Turkish operation in Syria targeting U.S.-backed Kurds | Trump slammed for allowing Turkey to attack Kurdish allies in Syria | David Rothkopf: Donald Trump's Big Lie on Syria Will Come Back to Haunt America

Graham later took to Twitter to announce that lawmakers will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if it decides to invade Syria. Graham said that he and other lawmakers will "call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate."

Earlier Monday, Graham called the explanation provided by the White House for the withdrawal "the biggest lie told by this administration," because unlike what the White House is officially saying, Graham said the Islamic State terror group has not yet been fully defeated.

Graham urged Trump to "reverse course" from the decision, something that does not seem likely at the moment.

Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican of Florida) also piled criticism on Trump's decision, saying: "If reports about US retreat in #Syria are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria."