U.S. President Donald Trump is under fire from evangelical Christian leaders over his decision to pull U.S. forces out of northeastern Syria in order to clear the way for a Turkish assault on U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. The rare rebuke has made headlines throughout the U.S., as evangelical voters make up the core of Trump’s political base, which propelled him to victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Erick Erickson, a prominent evangelical radio host and former Trump critic, even went so far as to invoke impeachment to reverse Trump’s Syria decision. Erickson tweeted, "Hey @SpeakerPelosi, maybe do a vote to initiate impeachment STAT, have the committee get out articles by tonight and over to the Senate, and perhaps we'll still have time to save some of the Kurds.”
Franklin Graham, a close Trump ally and son of Reverend Dr. Billy Graham tweeted on Wednesday, "TODAY I ask that you join me in praying for the lives affected by the White House decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. Both Democrat & Republican leaders are deeply concerned bc this would be, in essence, abandoning our closest allies there — the Kurdish people. Also pray for the Christians who the Kurds have been protecting. They could be annihilated. Would you pray w/me that Pres. @realDonaldTrump will reconsider? Thousands of lives hang in the balance.”
American Televangelist Pat Robertson warned earlier in the week that Trump was threatening his “mandate from heaven” by abandoning the Kurds.
Syria’s Kurdish fighters were instrumental in helping defeat ISIS in the region, a victory which Trump has long boasted about. Robertson, a leading evangelical voice, has been a staunch supporter of Trump and a fierce critic of ISIS and the oppression of Christian minority groups in the Middle East.
- As far as Trump is concerned, the Kurds have done their job and now can go to hell
- Syrian official to Kurds: Rejoin government side and fight occupation together
- Turkey says it will not bow to Trump's threats on attack of Kurdish forces in Syria
Robertson blasted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a dictator and a thug saying he is “absolutely appalled that the United States is going to betray those democratic forces in northern Syria, that we are possibly going to allow the Turkish to come in against the Kurds.”
“To say that (Erdoğan) is an ally of America is nonsense. He is in it for himself,” Robertson argued, adding that “the president, who allowed (Washington Post journalist Jamal) Khashoggi to be cut in pieces without any repercussions whatsoever, is now allowing the Christians and the Kurds to be massacred by the Turks.”
“And I believe — and I want to say this with great solemnity — the President of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen,” he concluded.