President Trump’s decision to pull our troops out of Syria just before a Turkish invasion has rocked the boat with not only those who have a habit of criticizing the president no matter what he does, but some of his usual supporters as well, like Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Another familiar voice who has stood up for the president in the past but is now disagreeing with President Trump on his move to pull out of Syria is evangelist Franklin Graham, who stopped short of condemning Trump’s decison but asked fellow Christians to pray Trump will “reconsider.”
Here's what Graham had to say about the move on Twitter:
Franklin Graham's organization Samaritan's Purse has been sent in to respond to the Kurdish displacement in Syria following the operative. In a Facebook post detailing this, Graham also added,
"My prayer is that God will guide our President and Congress to make the right decisions that would alleviate further suffering and bloodshed. Pray for those fleeing and for our teams as we respond."
Here's that post:
The Washington Examiner has more to say about Graham's opinion on Trump's Syria decision:
Evangelist Franklin Graham urged Christians to pray for Syria and that President Trump would reconsider his decision to withdraw troops from the region.
"TODAY I ask that you join me in praying for the lives affected by the White House decision to pull US 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," Graham said Wednesday on Twitter. "The Kurds are the ones who have been leading the fight against ISIS in Syria. 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."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Wednesday the country's military would be invading Syria from their southern border. Reporters and eyewitnesses on the ground said Turkey had already been bombing the northern Syria on Tuesday.
The Turkish invasion comes after Trump said the United States would pull out its last troops from the region, which is occupied by the Kurds, who were America's allies against ISIS.
Franklin Graham, in an interview with CBN, also stated that while he respect's President Trump's decison, "now we have to deal with the fallout."
Here's more from his interview with CBN:
In an interview with CBN News, Franklin Graham says he spoke to Vice President Mike Pence about the perilous situation in Syria, and Graham says he respects President Donald Trump's decision to remove US troops from harm's way.
"I have communicated with the Vice President," Graham tells CBN News. "The decision has been made and the President certainly had his reasons and I respect his decision. Now we have to deal with the fallout."
When President Trump made the decision to pullback American troops in the region last week, Graham, who is a close personal friend of the president, called on Trump to reconsider the move, citing the real possibilities of ethnic cleansing and religious persecution. Since then, there has been evidence on the ground that Turkey is doing exactly that.
"Hopefully the President can persuade the Turkish military to stop and have possibly a cease-fire because there are so many civilians caught in this," says Graham. "The Turks are talking about putting in a safe zone and I really doubt those are their intentions. I think they want to take the entire border of Syria so there will be hundreds of thousands of more people (as refugees) if that's the case."
The New York Times also noted:
As Turkish warplanes began to bomb Syrian towns on Wednesday, the prominent evangelist Franklin Graham called for Mr. Trump to reconsider his decision, and worried that the Kurds — and the Christian minorities in the region they have defended — could be annihilated.
“We have many friends in the Kurdish areas,” said Mr. Graham, whose humanitarian organization, Samaritan’s Purse, has done relief work in the region. “We know people on the ground.”
The concern resonated for many conservative evangelicals who have supported Mr. Trump, and called into question his much-touted commitment to religious freedom, a top value for his base.