Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI-03) slammed President Donald Trump for treating U.S. troops like “paid mercenaries” in a Sunday interview while stoking rumors that he may launch a presidential run as a Libertarian candidate.
“I don’t think we should have been in Syria without congressional approval. We never had congressional approval for the mission. I think the president should’ve withdrawn troops long ago, but when you withdraw troops you have to plan ahead of time how to handle it,” Amash began the interview, explaining his stance on President Trump’s decision to remove troops from Syria.
Amash said the president failed to “prepare in advance for the obvious consequences” in his Sunday morning appearance on “Meet the Press.”
“He certainly knew what Turkey would do, and then he acted surprised that they’re coming in and committing acts of violence,” said Amash, who famously left the Republican Party earlier this year and now supports the impeachment inquiry.
Amash said later in the interview that it’s “pretty clear” President Trump isn’t bringing soldiers home, but instead is “just moving them to other parts of the Middle East.”
“He’s moving troops back into Iraq. He’s moving other troops into Saudi Arabia, and he’s using our forces almost as mercenaries, they’re paid mercenaries, who are going to go in and as long as Saudi Arabia pays us some money it’s good to go,” Amash said. “What happened to the American people having their voices heard through their representatives in Congress? We should make those decisions in Congress.”
On the topic of supporting impeachment, Amash said he thinks his constituents would’ve supported him in a Republican primary even if he didn’t leave the party.
“I don’t think so. I was comfortable sticking to my principles regardless and I’ve built up enough of a reputation in my district. They know I’m independent. They know I will do what I believe in and stand by what I said on the campaign trail,” Amash said. “I’ve been frustrated for a long time with the party system. I’ve been frustrated with the way Washington works.”
Host Chuck Todd asked Amash at the end of the interview if he will “100 percent” run for reelection or if he “could still run for another office.”
“No, I wouldn’t say 100 percent of anything,” Amash replied as Todd noted there’s been “talk of a Libertarian presidential candidate.”
“Yeah, I’m running for Congress but I keep things open. I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Amash said.
Watch the full interview:
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