The same day Trump's intelligence appointees appeared before the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced an amendment rebuking the President's push to withdraw troops from the Middle East.
Yet, Sen. John Kennedy, one of the Republicans who voted against the language, said he wasn't sure who's right and who's wrong in the withdrawal debate - and he wasn't going to back a stay-the-course approach.
"We're not the world's policemen, but we are the leader of the free world, and it's incumbent upon the United States to lead, to maintain a global coalition against terror and to stand with our partners", McConnell said in a speech in the Senate. She voted in favor of the measure.
Senate Armed Services Chairman James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said he will vote for the measure because he thinks it will help clarify that the withdrawal of United States troops from Syria should be condition-based.
While the amendment is a nonbinding provision without the force of law, it sent a clear message to the White House that any plans to immediately pull troops out of war zones could jeopardize the fight against groups like the so-called Islamic State, leave Kurdish allies on the ground defenseless, and embolden USA adversaries like Russian Federation and Iran.
There was no immediate word on when the Senate might vote on whether to pass the bill, including the amendment.
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While slamming Trump's decision to withdraw USA forces from Syria and Afghanistan without coordinating with allies as "reckless", the Vermont senator said in a statement explaining his no vote that the "American people do not want endless war" and urged Congress to use its constitutional authority to bring perpetual conflicts to a close. On the other hand, while Trump is talking about getting us out, he's doing it - as usual - in an abrupt way, without consulting with our allies, without developing a mechanism for a sensible withdrawal.
"No one has forgotten September 11, 2001, but sometimes we fail to remember what made is possible in the first place", said Sen.
This week, United States intelligence chiefs publicly broke with Trump, contradicting several of his foreign policy positions by telling senators that ISIS has not been defeated, Iran is probably not producing nukes and North Korea is unlikely to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
"Nothing in the McConnell amendment can be construed as an authorization for the use of military force", said Sen.
Trump said earlier on Thursday he would bring American troops home if a peace deal were reached to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan. The moves received considerable blowback from his defense and foreign policy establishment, as well as many Republican lawmakers. McConnell's Kentucky colleague, Republican Sen. Exact timing for a vote on the final bill has not been announced yet. If it succeeds, the language would be added to a wide-ranging foreign policy bill that has been pending on the Senate floor for several weeks.
"We're involved in wars that are 6,000 miles away". It also would let state and local governments refuse to do business with anyone who boycotts Israel. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. "If you give them any belief that they have a chance to win because you have withdrawn".