Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain praised President Trump for his swift response to Syria launching a chemical attack on its own people, saying that he “confronted a pivotal moment” in the country.
“Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action,” the senators said in a joint statement. “For that, he deserves the support of the American people.”
The two had called on the administration earlier Thursday to ground the Syrian air force.
After Trump ordered the missile strike against a Syrian airfield in retaliation, McCain and Graham said in a statement that the move sent an important message.
“We salute the skill and professionalism of the U.S. Armed Forces who carried out tonight’s strikes in Syria,” they said. “Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad ... slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs.”
They also said the administration should consider what’s next in their Syrian strategy and aim to ground Assad’s air force.
“The first measure in such a strategy must be to take Assad’s air force — which is responsible not just for the latest chemical weapons attack, but countless atrocities against the Syrian people — completely out of the fight,” they said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, meanwhile, said the president should make the case to the American people and Congress for military action in Syria.
"Any military action in Syria must be justified as protecting the vital national security interests of America – including decisive action to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the hands of radical Islamic terrorists," he said in a statement.
"I look forward to our Commander-in-Chief making the case to Congress and the American people how we should do so in the coming days.”