Schumer Decries Trump Administration Refusal To Brief All Senators On Syria Policy And Anti-ISIS Plan, Announces Special Senate Democratic Caucus Meeting Tomorrow With Brett McGurk, Former Special Presidential Envoy For The Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS

October 22, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today announced on the Senate floor that on Wednesday, Senate Democrats will hold a special Democratic Caucus meeting with former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS Brett McGurk to discuss President Trump’s disastrous decision to abruptly pull out of Syria and how it has led to a resurgence of ISIS in the region. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

The president’s incompetence with Erdogan and Syria has handed ISIS a get-out-of-jail-free card and simply put American lives in danger. For the sake of our national security, President Trump and his administration need to get a handle on this situation.

Senators, I believe from both parties, have been trying to get the administration’s top officials, including Secretary of State Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Esper, and General Milley to give the Senate a briefing on its Syria policy and a plan to contain and further degrade ISIS. They canceled a scheduled briefing last week, pulled the plug on a briefing that was supposed to be this afternoon, and have so far refused to commit to a new date. We need that briefing to happen. Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Esper, General Milley, CIA Director Haspel, have a responsibility to report to Congress on what’s happening in this dangerous situation. And, once again, this administration is withholding vital information. It’s a disgrace. It’s probably because they don’t have a plan, so they don’t know what to do. But bringing them here may help formulate that plan or push them to get a plan.

But in the meantime, Democrats are set to meet with Brett McGurk, the former presidential envoy in charge of countering ISIS, at a special caucus meeting Wednesday. So we can try to come up with some answers even though it should be the administration doing that.

The American people should be very concerned that the Trump administration does not seem to have any plan to secure the enduring defeat of ISIS in Syria. Senate Democrats will try to learn as much as possible from the experts available to us, folks like Mr. McGurk, but ultimately the president alone has the authority to correct our nation’s course. So it is still very important for the Senate to pass the House resolution condemning the president’s decision to precipitously withdraw from northern Syria.