Smith made the comments as he addressed news reports Friday that Trump decided to pull U.S. troops from Syria in the middle of a phone call last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who requested that he do so. The precipitous decision was so upsetting to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who tried to talk Trump out of it, that Mattis submitted his resignation Thursday.
“This has discomfited a lot of people, this decision by President Trump and the way that the decision was made,” said Michael Singh, Smith’s guest on “Shepard Smith Reporting” and a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council. “There is concern that ISIS is not, in fact, defeated, as President Trump said.”
There is also fear among the Israelis that this “will actually open the ground now for Iran and Russia and the Assad regime to retake eastern Syria,” Singh said.
Smith responded that it was “hard to believe what’s happened. In the face of counsel not to do so by everyone in his administration and everyone in the Pentagon, the president gets off a phone call with the president of Turkey, then does the bidding of Russia, and Vladimir Putin thanks him, while the defense secretary resigns. It is unprecedented in American history, isn’t it?”
“It’s shocking, really,” Singh responded.
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