Sen. Rand Paul: Pulling U.S. Troops from Syria Could Make It More Likely That Kurds Will Find Peace

By Melanie Arter | October 10, 2019 | 11:45am EDT
Photo credit by Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)

( – The Kurds are more likely to find peace with Turkey in Syria now that President Donald Trump has decided to pull U.S. troops from Syria, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told “CBS This Morning” on Thursday.

When asked whether the United States has turned its back on its allies and left itself in a vulnerable position with ISIS, Paul said, “I think initially when President Trump decided to go in, he said that our goal was to defeat ISIS. I think we've achieved that goal. Many people keep shifting the goalposts.


“Many of the neo-conservatives like Lindsey Graham say, oh, now we're going to stay until Iran goes or until Syria's a country. Well, good luck. I mean, that could be a long time. It's a very complicated war, and really think about what we're talking about. We're talking about 50 soldiers. What kind of war do you go to with 50 soldiers?” he asked.

“I mean, we're moving 50 soldiers out of the onslaught of tens of thousands of Turkish troops, so really I think it's a smart thing to do, and it reminds me of Beirut. Do you remember putting 300 people – when Reagan had 300 people in a barracks unprotected, and then there was a suicide bombing,” the senator said.



“What I don't want to have happen -- I've got three nephews who serve in the military, I don't want them to be sitting ducks with 50 or 100 of them being killed by a suicide bomber and then all of a sudden, we're drug into a greater war. Who are we going to fight? Are we gonna fight Turkey, our NATO ally? Are we gonna fight the Kurds? Are we gonna fight Assad, the Russians, the Iranians, the Iraqis? I mean the whole place is a mess,” Paul said.

“But the Kurds have been very loyal allies to us,” CBS’s Anthony Mason said.

“But what we need is not 50 soldiers fighting a war. What we need is a multilateral group to sit down and try to hammer out a piece. I actually think the Kurds are more likely to try to find peace now that they know they're going to have to fight or find peace, so I think really maybe we have been impeding peace talks, maybe this can encourage peace talks,” Paul said.

On the topic of the impeachment inquiry, Paul was asked whether he thinks it was appropriate for Trump to solicit foreign help in the 2020 campaign or whether he thinks it was inappropriate but just not impeachable.

“I think that the American people want everybody to be treated equally, and so I think when they see Joe Biden doing similar, with similar accusations, that Joe Biden threatened their aid, if they didn't fire a prosecutor that was looking into a company where Hunter Biden was making $50,000 a month, so I would say if that's going on and then Democrat senators are also threatening the aid, and now … they’re President Trump threatened the aid, sounds like everybody is threatening Ukraine's aid over Ukraine doing what they want them to do,” Paul said.

“So if you want to be equal, if you want to impeach President Trump, they should have impeached Joe Biden as well for similar type of activity,” he said.


MASON: Is it wrong, or isn't it?

PAUL: No, I think it's not incorrect or wrong to --

MASON: It's okay for the president to be --

PAUL: No, let me finish. What I would say is that aid that we give to other countries should be contingent upon behavior, and whether or not we should have Ukraine trying to eradicate corruption, yes.

MASON: This was specifically about Mr. Biden.

PAUL: Well, I don't know. Ask the American people if they think $50,000 --

MASON: No, I'm asking you, you're a senator.

PAUL: I know, but ask the American people do you think $50,000 a month that Hunter Biden was getting might be corrupt?

CBS’s Tony Dokoupil asked Paul whether he would have done what Trump did if he were elected in 2016.

“I think everybody has different ways that they would approach things," Paul said.

DOKOUPIL: Sir, you.

PAUL: Well the thing is that now we're getting down to whether or not it's personality and how he reacted in a phone call. To impeach people because he has a more direct way of approaching people..

MASON: It's not a question of impeachment. My question is, is it right or wrong to ask a foreign leader to help in an election with, by the way, nearly $400 million in aid hanging over his head?

PAUL: I guess the thing is would you say we can't invest corruption if they happen to be political figures --

MASON: It's not --

PAUL: It is because --

MASON: He wasn't speaking to broader corruption. He used that word, but he spoke specifically about Mr. Biden.

PAUL: Right. So if Hunter Biden's father was an industrial magnate in the United States, you'd say it's okay that he asked to investigate hunter Biden just because he was a politician, you say he's somehow involved in politics --

MASON: He's more than a politician, he's the Democratic front-runner.

PAUL: I think the chances of Joe Biden actually being the nominee are almost zero --

MASON: That's a different point --

PAUL: What I would say is that the American people want corruption to be looked at equally. They want equal protection under the law, so if we're gonna say what President Trump did was wrong, we’re gonna have to say what Joe Biden did was wrong.

MASON: You’re not answering my question. Was it wrong --

PAUL: I'm trying. Four Democratic senators came forward and said, hey, if you don't keep investigating Trump, we're going to vote against your aid. Everybody, Republican and Democrat are doing the exact same thing, so how can we say it's impeachable on one side, and we're going to excuse Joe Biden on the other side?

DOKOUPIL: Notably absent is an answer to the question of whether you, Rand Paul, think it's appropriate.



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