President Donald Trump fired back Wednesday at attacks from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Turkey's attacks in Syria — saying that the senator "should focus on do-nothing Democrats" and stick to his work as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.
"Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years, with thousands of soldiers fighting other people's wars," Trump told reporters at a news conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. "I want to get out of the Middle East.
"Lindsey should focus on do-nothing Democrats," Trump continued. "They're getting nothing done.
"They're not getting USMCA done between Canada, the United States and Mexico. They're getting nothing done.
"Lindsey should focus on Judiciary," Trump said, adding that "he ought to find out about what happened" regarding the 2016 election, including the circumstances ultimately leading to the Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey in 2017.
"That's what Lindsey ought to focus on," Trump said. "That's what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on."
Graham, also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has bitterly attacked President Trump on Syria, his decision to withdraw U.S. troops and the subsequent assaults by Turkey on the Kurds in the region.
On Wednesday, he slammed Trump in a four-post Twitter rant, seizing on his earlier Oval Office comments, including the president saying that the Turkish incursion "has nothing to do with us."
"I hope President Trump is right in his belief that Turkey's invasion of Syria is of no concern to us, abandoning the Kurds won't come back to haunt us, ISIS won't reemerge, and Iran will not fill the vacuum created by this decision," Graham said in one tweet.
"I firmly believe that if President Trump continues to make such statements, this will be a disaster worse than President Obama's decision to leave Iraq," the senator continued in another post.
In another, he said Trump's comments undercut efforts by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to end the bloodshed in Syria.
They were expected to meet Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
"I worry we will not have allies in the future against radical Islam, ISIS will reemerge, and Iran's rise in Syria will become a nightmare for Israel," Graham said in another post.
"I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making — and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking."
But Trump was not having it, telling reporters that Graham, who is up for re-election next year, should focus on investigating the Democrats as part of his role in heading up the Judiciary Committee.
"The people of South Carolina don't want us to get into a war with Turkey, a NATO member, or with Syria," Trump said. "Let them fight their own wars.
"They've been fighting for a thousand years. Let them fight their own wars.
"The people of South Carolina want to see those troops come home," the president added. "I won an election based on that."
Graham hit back later Wednesday on Twitter: "When it comes to America's national security, I will NEVER be quiet."
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