Senate backs McConnell rebuke of Trump military drawdowns

By Kathryn Watson

/ CBS News

Former ISIS envoy: Trump's "total reversal" forced resignation

The Republican-led Senate delivered a strong — albeit non-binding — rebuke to President Trump Thursday over his decision to swiftly draw down troops in Afghanistan and Syria. The Senate voted 68-23 to back an amendment proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposing the swift withdrawal of troops.

The move was a rare showing of opposition from Republican senators who consistently side with the president, revealing a possible breaking point for Senate Republicans who view some of the president's foreign policy approaches as dangerous. Specifically, the amendment asserts that the U.S. faces continued threats from terrorist groups in Syria and Afghanistan, and a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces could risk those gains and national security.

The Senate vote also comes as the president openly mocked his top intelligence officials, telling them in a tweet Wednesday that they should "go back to school." At a hearing this week, the CIA, FBI and National Intelligence directors offered assessments of national security areas including North Korea, Iran and ISIS in Syria that substantially differed from statements made by the Trump administration and the president.

The amendment the Senate passed Thursday is non-binding, meaning it is symbolic. It's attached to a larger Middle East policy bill that hasn't yet passed the Senate and could face an uphill battle in the House. But, in the words of McConnell, the vote allowed senators the opportunity "to go on the record about what the United States should be doing in Syria and Afghanistan."

A number of the president's strongest allies, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have publicly broken with the president over the proposed swift withdrawals. Graham called pulling out of Syria "an Obama-like mistake."

In December, the president claimed ISIS had been defeated in Syria. Earlier this month, however, four American troops were killed in Syria. The president's stance on Syria has influenced the exits of top administration officials.

Mr. Trump differed with former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on how to approach Syria, and Mattis announced his departure in December. Brett McGurk, the top U.S. envoy in the fight against ISIS, resigned, citing his sharp disagreement with the president over Syria.

First published on January 31, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kathryn Watson

Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

Senate rebukes Trump's planned military drawdowns

In a rare move, a majority of the Republican-led Senate rebuked the president's planned drawdowns in Afghanistan and Syria

updated 7M ago

Trump optimistic on possible China trade deal

The administration has given a March 1 deadline for talks with China

updated 1M ago

Stocks post best January since 1987, as S&P 500 climbs 7.9%

Trading in the year's first month marks a sharp reversal from December, which was the worst month since 1931

updated 2M ago

U.S. border agency says it's made biggest-ever fentanyl bust

Border officials say they seized nearly 254 pounds of the deadly synthetic opioid with a street value of $3.5 million

updated 37M ago

Ralph Northam addresses controversial abortion comments

Northam has been under fire for his description of late-term abortions

updated 51M ago

Senate rebukes Trump's planned military drawdowns

In a rare move, a majority of the Republican-led Senate rebuked the president's planned drawdowns in Afghanistan and Syria

updated 7M ago

Trump optimistic on possible China trade deal

The administration has given a March 1 deadline for talks with China

updated 1M ago

Ralph Northam addresses controversial abortion comments

Northam has been under fire for his description of late-term abortions

updated 51M ago

Elizabeth Warren blasts billionaire's bid for bankrupt Sears

Massachusetts Senator calls out Eddie Lampert's commitment to workers, given his "history of slashing jobs"

1H ago

Pence tells DEA border wall necessary to prevent trafficking

Mike Pence tells DEA employees "you fight for us every day" in speech at agency's headquarters

1H ago

29 children and babies die from cold as families seek shelter: Report

"Children are dying from hypothermia as their families flee to safety," said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO representative in Syria.

2H ago

"Disturbing" discovery: Giant hole found under Antarctica glacier

It is growing at an "explosive" rate that surprised researchers, NASA says

2H ago

Trump’s stance on Venezuela garners rare bipartisan support in Congress

"There are always going to be issues on which we agree," Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala told CBS News

4H ago

Europeans poised to roll out "vehicle" to dodge Iran sanctions

EU says it's "moving in the same direction" as U.S. on Iran's regional influence and military development, but it wants to keep the nuclear deal alive

6H ago

Venezuela power struggle hinges on Maduro's military

So far embattled president's commanders are standing by him, but pressure is mounting fast

2H ago

Mindfulness helped Kathy Bates lose 60 pounds

The 70-year-old actress said she learned about mindfulness from her niece – and has never felt better

3H ago

"Mobituaries": Who was the first African American major leaguer? Not Jackie Robinson

They made history. So, why don't we know their names?

4H ago

CBS All Access' "Twilight Zone" reboot gets premiere date

"Twilight Zone" fans can soon enter the fifth dimension all over again

21H ago

Persons of interest sought in alleged Jussie Smollett attack

Smollett told police he was attacked by two white men early Tuesday who allegedly yelled "this is MAGA country"

18H ago

The Beatles' historic final concert held on rooftop 50 years ago

By the time they performed, it had been more than two years since their last live show

21H ago

Climate change skeptics live where it hurts economy most: study

Americans who least believe in climate change live where its effects are forecast to hurt most, Brookings Institution says

1H ago

These states could move to 100% renewable power

They represent 42% of the U.S. population and a quarter of its economic output — and shift can happen within 25 years

1H ago

Dad: Hacker spoke to baby, taunted me, turned up thermostat

Hacker accessed Illinois family's Nest security cameras, father says

3H ago

"Disturbing" discovery: Giant hole found under Antarctica glacier

It is growing at an "explosive" rate that surprised researchers, NASA says

2H ago

Saturn spent billions of years without its rings, NASA says

Saturn's rings may have formed during the age of dinosaurs – but compared to the planet, that's not that old

6H ago

Mindfulness helped Kathy Bates lose 60 pounds

The 70-year-old actress said she learned about mindfulness from her niece – and has never felt better

3H ago

Woman with dementia dumped outside nursing home, family says

Security footage shows the elderly woman attempting to get inside in the middle of the night after being discharged from the hospital

2H ago

Drugmaker doubles recall of infant ibuprofen

Some batches found with overly high concentrations of the drug, with infants especially vulnerable to adverse effects

8H ago

Woman uses DNA test, finds sperm donor – and pays a "devastating" price

A sperm bank is threatening to sue an Oregon woman who contacted her daughter's biological father after using an at-home DNA test

8H ago

Company accused of fueling opioid crisis wanted to capitalize on treatment: report

ProPublica specifically names Kathe Sackler as being involved with a secretive project called "Project Tango"

8H ago

Stocks post best January since 1987, as S&P 500 climbs 7.9%

Trading in the year's first month marks a sharp reversal from December, which was the worst month since 1931

updated 2M ago

Elizabeth Warren blasts billionaire's bid for bankrupt Sears

Massachusetts Senator calls out Eddie Lampert's commitment to workers, given his "history of slashing jobs"

1H ago

Climate change skeptics live where it hurts economy most: study

Americans who least believe in climate change live where its effects are forecast to hurt most, Brookings Institution says

1H ago

These states could move to 100% renewable power

They represent 42% of the U.S. population and a quarter of its economic output — and shift can happen within 25 years

1H ago

Dad: Hacker spoke to baby, taunted me, turned up thermostat

Hacker accessed Illinois family's Nest security cameras, father says

3H ago

Police show more video in shooting of boy with airsoft gun

14-year-old Antonio Arce was fatally shot as he ran away from a Tempe police officer responding to a vehicle burglary

1H ago

Nurse indicted on charges of raping incapacitated woman

Nathan Sutherland is expected to enter a plea to the charges at an arraignment hearing next week

1H ago

Phony pharmacist gave out 745,000 prescriptions, authorities say

She posed as a pharmacist and pharmacy manager for years in three California Walgreens stores, a state investigation finds

7H ago

Cleveland family says school should've flagged slain girl's absence sooner

Alianna DeFreeze, 14, was abducted on her way to school; her family is suing because they weren't notified about her absence quick enough

19H ago

"I hope y'all find peace," Texas inmate says before execution

Robert Jennings received lethal injection for killing Officer Elston Howard during a robbery part of a crime spree in July 1988

7H ago

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here