Sen. Kaine stresses importance of US relations with foreign allies in wake of IS leader’s death

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. — While calling the death of a dangerous ISIS leader a “good day for America and for the world,” U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) is raising concerns about the strength of our relationships with allies abroad amid growing tensions with the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

President Donald Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed during a raid conducted by the U.S. military in Syria.  

This comes a few weeks after President Trump ordered troops out of Syria, saying he wants to get out of the region.

Critics, including Sen. Kaine, say this move is abandoning allies in the region. 

“What we need now from the administration is a plan to defeat ISIS,” Kaine explained. “The death of Baghdadi is a very, very good thing. But bin Laden’s death didn’t eliminate Al Qaeda, other people stepped in to take over.”

Sen. Kaine spoke with 8News one-on-one Monday. The progress to keep down ISIS, he says, is positive but he is concerned about the strength of the U.S.’s relationships with allies. Last week on the Senate floor, Kaine called on his fellow lawmakers to pass a resolution to increase humanitarian assistance for the Kurdistan Regional Government.

“You don’t want to tear up the alliances like we’ve had with the Kurds in Northern Syria because the intelligence that they provided turned out to be very, very helpful in finally finding Baghdadi,” he explained.

The senator is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is closely watching as new details emerge from the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s administration and their relationship with Ukraine.

The United States Senate would act as a jury if there were a trial to impeach the President. Sen. Kaine says it’s too soon to weigh in on how’d he vote.

“There’s new facts coming out everyday. The facts have to be put on the table, they will be put on the table publicly,” he explained. “The wrong thing to do is declare before the evidence is on the table. You have to listen to the evidence and make your decision.”

President Trump continues to deny he did anything wrong, calling the inquiry a “witch hunt.”

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