One of President Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress criticized the commander-in-chief on Wednesday for statements he says may have emboldened Islamic State militants and led to the deaths of U.S. service members in Syria.
The comments came at the same time that Vice President Mike Pence publicly claimed that ISIS “has crumbled” and “has been defeated” during a State Department event on Wednesday a few miles away from Capitol Hill.
Pentagon officials still have not confirmed details of an explosion in the northern Syrian town of Manbij that claimed the lives of multiple U.S. troops, the first casualties since the White House announced plans to draw down American forces in the region.
Several times in recent weeks, Trump justified the pull-out by saying that ISIS was essentially defeated, rendering the U.S. mission there moot.
Pence echoed that message in his speech, promising an orderly but deliberate withdrawal in coming weeks.