Donald Trump's reluctance to discuss his plans for combating the Islamic State is a mistake, fellow GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said Tuesday, and his willingness to allow Russia
to deal with the insurgents is especially disturbing.
"He plans to go to Syria and take their oil for our benefit," the South Carolina senator told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program."That will turn the whole Middle East against us."
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But Russia, said Graham, supports Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and "ISIL and other Islamic groups are using Assad as a recruiting tool. When he (Trump) says he's okay with Russian involvement in Syria, that means this war never ends."
Show host Bill Hemmer commented that Trump is being quiet on his plans because "he doesn't want [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to know," to which Graham snapped "oh, come on."
"Now is not the time to guess," he said, explaining his plans to build a regional army, that combined with a minimal United States force will go "on the ground and destroy ISIL and the caliphate, take the territory out and push Assad out."
Graham also commented on the controversy with GOP candidate Ben Carson and his comments about supporting a Muslim for president.
"Mr. Carson is a fine man, but the Constitution is clear here," he said. "I would tell Mr. Carson, Mr. Trump and everyone else, if you want to destroy radical Islam you have to work with people in the faith. The good news is the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world are not buying what ISIL is selling. They don't want to turn their daughters over to ISIL."
Also on Tuesday, Graham reaffirmed his intention of staying in the race, even though he's polling at less than one percent.
"I'm going to fight to be commander-in-chief for the finest fighting force in the history of the world," said Graham. "They had our back, I'm going have their back, that's why I'm running."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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