Grassley: Trump foreign policy 'dramatic departure' from campaign
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyWhite House clarifies: We condemn all violence Republican lawmakers criticize Trump response to Charlottesville Grassley reverses ‘expectation’ of Supreme Court vacancy this year MORE (R-Iowa) said President Trump is breaking with his campaign rhetoric as he takes a harder line on North Korea and Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

"Absolutely ... it isn't so much a departure from an administration that's only 84 days old but it's a dramatic departure from what he campaigned on," Grassley told Iowa reporters during a conference call, when asked about Trump's recent shifts on the two countries. 
 
He added that Trump "spoke so much about getting more deeply involved in the Middle East and we're already involved." 
 
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Trump repeatedly took isolationist positions during the presidential campaign, touting his opposition to the Iraq War and warning against the U.S. military getting involved in conflicts in other countries. 
 
"We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with," Trump said at an event in North Carolina shortly after the election, adding that the United States would focus on fighting terrorism. 
 
He also criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents High-ranking FBI official leaves Russia probe OPINION | Steve Bannon is Trump's indispensable man — don't sacrifice him to the critics MORE's position on Syria, telling Reuters shortly before the election that "you’re going to end up in World War Three over Syria if we listen to Hillary Clinton."
 
Lawmakers have been generally supportive of the airstrikes the Trump administration carried out last week targeting a Syrian airbase in retaliation for a chemical gas attack that U.S. officials and lawmakers attribute to the Assad government. 
 
Grassley added during the call — which took place Thursday but was posted to his Senate website Friday — that the airstrike "shows the humanity" of Trump.
 
"When he sees on television kids dying from sarin gas when he's in a position to do something about it and he decides to do it," Grassley said. "I think it sends a strong signal that there's a new sheriff in town." 
 
Trump has reversed himself on a handful of issues this week, saying he no longer thinks NATO is "obsolete." He also backed away from his "day one" pledge to label China a currency manipulator, a move that has earned him criticism from top Democrats.
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump’s isolation grows Ellison: Trump has 'level of sympathy' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists Trump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary MORE (R-Ky.) defended Trump's reversals, telling Newsmax TV on Thursday, "I welcome adjustments that he makes from the campaign."