White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says he is "outraged" that anyone would suggest that American troops would be serving as allies to al-Qaida if the United States strikes Syria.
ABC's "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos asked McDonough about the words of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that such a missile attack would make the United States "al-Qaida's air force."
"I'm outraged for somebody to suggest that our people would be serving as allies to al-Qaida," McDonough said.
Critics of a strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad over use of chemical weapons on civilians have warned that up to seven of the nine rebel factions in Syria have been infiltrated by elements of the terrorist group.
Cruz appeared immediately after Stephanopoulos' pre-taped interview with McDonough, and said he didn't originate the quote. It was first stated by former Democratic Sen. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, and later tweeted by a current member of the U.S. Navy, he said.
Cruz said he thinks there are better alternatives than getting directly involved in Syria's civil war. He suggested cutting off Iraq's $5 million in aid unless they stop letting Iran fly over the country to resupply Assad.
Cruz also suggested forcing a vote in U.N. Security Council, making Russia and China go on record with their threats to veto it. Once they do, the United States should reinstate the anti-ballistic missile station in Eastern Europe that was cancelled at beginning of Obama's first term and begin selling new F-16s to Taiwan.
No national security issue is at stake in Syria, Cruz said.
"I don't think that's the job of our military to be defending amorphous international norms."
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