Oct 20, 2019

Mitt Romney learned about Trump's betrayal of Kurds on Twitter

In an interview with Mike Allen for "Axios on HBO," Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said he learned about President Trump's abandonment of the Kurds through the president's Twitter, despite sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The big picture: Romney has joined a number of Republicans in condemning the president's withdrawal of troops from northern Syria, as well as Trump's portrayal of a temporary ceasefire as a victory. In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor last week, Romney said the withdrawal "will stand as a blood stain in the annals of American history."

  • In a cross-party, 354-60 vote last week, the House condemned the withdrawal. The ceasefire is also set to last only five days, and it's meant to give room for the Kurds to escape the area to avoid further clashes with Turkish-backed forces.

What they're saying: Romney noted that he learned of the move on Twitter, "like most folks." In response, Allen asked him:

  • "What's the point of even having a Foreign Relations Committee?"

Romney's response:

"Well, that's increasingly a good question. We do have a Foreign Relations Committee where people are able to deal with some of these questions — consider what's in America's best interest long term. And if that's not gonna be welcome or accepted, why — you ask a good question, which is: Why do we even have it?"
— Romney to "Axios on HBO"

Romney added that withdrawing U.S. troops without notifying the committee was particularly surprising to him because "this is an area of Syria in particular [the committee has] been focused on."

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