- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 3, 2019

Senate Republicans and President Trump are very much divided when it comes to pulling U.S. troops out of Syria.

Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Republican senators “have been sending very strong signals to the president” to not make an abrupt withdrawal from the country.

“They want democracy, they want peace. Just having American military present, not even involved in the fighting, but as advisers, does a great deal for providing peace and stability for that part of Syria,” he said.

Mr. Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, noted his concern following the resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, U.S. envoy in the ISIS fight, over the president’s announcement to pull U.S. troops out of the region.

“These are people that are intimately knowledgable of the conditions on the ground, of our allies there and they simply couldn’t in good conscience stay in office, that’s a pretty bad sign,” Mr. Johnson said.



He warned that the president needs to listen to top intelligence advisers, including CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who said that Iran remains a threat to the U.S., that ISIS has not yet been defeated and that North Korea will seek to produce nuclear weapons.

Following their testimony on Thursday, Mr. Trump lambasted the intelligence chiefs’ testimonies, advising they “go back to school” in a tweet.

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