President Donald Trump grew increasingly irritated with his top military officials and national security team in a meeting Tuesday for opposing his compulsion to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, CNN reported.
According to senior administration officials who spoke with CNN, Trump carped about the amount of money the U.S. has spent in Syria — which he called fruitless — and questioned why other wealthy nations in the Persian Gulf hadn’t stepped in to help defeat ISIS in the region.
Trump-favored officials, like CIA Director Mike Pompeo — who Trump has tapped to serve as secretary of state — and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, reportedly warned Trump of the consequences of leaving Syria too soon. Dunford argued that a swift exit would give countries like Russia, Turkey and Iran an unencumbered opportunity to advance their own interests in the region.
Trump also reportedly suggested that he wanted the U.S. to finish its mission against ISIS in Syria within six months. Department of Defense Secretary James Mattis and other military officials reportedly resisted that timeline, saying it was too short. Trump reportedly told them to “just get it done,” per CNN.
Trump has reportedly bragged to confidants that his new National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was not in the meeting, “has his back” on his desire to withdrawal from Syria.
Despite his irritation, Trump ultimately agreed to hold off on withdrawing U.S. troops from the region.
Read CNN’s full report here.