Sen. Mike Lee challenges Sen. Lindsey Graham's characterization of the president's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria as an "Obama-like mistake," saying that he "couldn’t agree more with the president's decision."
"By definition, this is the opposite of an Obama decision. Obama got us involved. Trump has taken us out," the Utah Republican said in an interview Wednesday night with FNC's Shannon Bream.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: One of my colleagues just called this an Obama-like decision. I couldn't disagree more and I couldn’t agree more with the president's decision.
Look, by definition, this is the opposite of an Obama decision. Obama got us involved. Trump has taken us out.
Congress has never declared war, or authorized the use of military force in Syria. We shouldn't be there anyway. We don’t have Congress doing that.
BREAM: President Obama has gotten a lot of heat. He had a lot of criticism from across the political spectrum for telegraphing when we’re going to leave, and how -- what that did for people. And, you know, we’re hearing from the president or Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today saying, we respect the U.S. but Israel has got to be worried about what goes on there, too, if we pull out of this particular situation.
LEE: Sure. I understand that, we've got to look at what is in the interest of the United States.
One of the concerns I had from the outset with Syria is that officials with the Obama administration, officials in the Pentagon at the time, could never give me a straight answer of what is our objective. Are we trying to oust Bashar Assad? If so, what is a post-Assad Syria look like? And is it anymore friendly to our interests? What is our objective there?
They couldn't answer that, and Congress never authorized it. That's a problem, that’s why I applaud President Trump's decision.
BREAM: Do think we have fully defeated ISIS as the president said today?
LEE: If the president says that we’ve done that, I believe him. The president has access to more intel than the rest of us get. And I trust his judgment on this. I think he made the right choice.