Fox News Host Pivots From Calling Trump's Syria Move a 'Disaster' to Slamming Democrats' and Media's Outrage

Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade initally joined the chorus of voices condemning President Donald Trump's decision earlier this month end support for Kurdish fighters in Syria. But now, Kilmeade is accusing Democrats of hypocrisy for criticizing the president's decision to abandon Kurdish forces who served as key allies in U.S. efforts to weaken the Islamic State group.

"Just keep in mind, too, as you see Nancy Pelosi and others outraged, I thought Buck Sexton's tweet was right on the money, when he said around 500,000 human beings were killed in Syria while Barack Obama was president and leading for a political settlement to that civil war. Media has been outraged in the last 72 hours over our Syrian policy. They're more outraged over the last 72 hours over our Syria policy than they were at any point over the last seven years of slaughter. Let alone the millions that have flooded in and destabilized portions of Europe," Kilmeade said on Tuesday, reading a tweet from Sexton, a conservative talk show host.

Despite condemning regime conduct in Syria, the U.S. focused its military activities on ISIS to avoid a direct confrontation with Russia. Obama's policy towards Syria was established to avoid prolonged involvement in the country, a tactic that generated criticism as humanitarian crises spread across the country. Despite the vast humanitarian concerns, many Democrats did, in fact, continue to push for a diplomatic settlement.

Yet the current outrage is focused on Trump's rapid abandonment of Kurdish fighters who worked with U.S. troops and, for five years, were relied upon as a key ally.

Kilmeade, as well as the other Fox & Friends hosts have regularly deflected criticism of Trump by saying Democrats are being political opportunists or hypocrites. Despite his rebuke of the left's response to Trump's decision to withdraw support from the Kurdish fighters and pull troops from Syria, Kilmeade was critical of Trump's policy as recently as Monday.

"The president must realize he made a huge mistake and just say 'listen, I had a conversation with Erdogan, he misled me like everyone of the region,'" Kilmeade said on Monday's broadcast of Fox & Friends.

Last week, Kilmeade called the decision to abandon the Kurds a "disaster" and sparred with his co-hosts. "Now, we're saying 'okay Turks, go wipe them out or force them out,' what kind of message is that to the next ally that wants to side with us?" he asked.

Kilmeade's recent remarks also set him apart from many Republicans, who have issued a rare rebuke of the president over his Syria policy. Lawmakers have raised concerns that Islamic State group militants would be released from prisons run by Kurdish fighters as they turn their attention to the Turkish advance and that potential allies will not trust the U.S. in the future.

The U.S. retreat from Syria has led to a rapid realignment of alliances in the country. Facing an offensive from the Turkish military, the Kurdish forces abandoned by the United States struck a deal with the Syrian government, which has sent troops toward the Turkish-Syrian border to meet the Turkish advance. Russia, which had aligned with Damascus and held a pivotal role in shifting the tide of the civil war by intervening to counter militant advances on government territory, said that its troops were patrolling a strategic point near the Turkish and Syrian borders.

Turkey
Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa, on the first week of Turkey's military operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters. OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images