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

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyTrump eyeing second Supreme Court seat Grassley: Another Supreme Court vacancy likely this summer Sweeping change at DOJ under Sessions 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." 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
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 ClintonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' Poll: Almost half say Trump off to poor start 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 McConnellFive fights for Trump’s first year Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road AACR’s march on Washington MORE (R-Ky.) defended Trump's reversals, telling Newsmax TV on Thursday, "I welcome adjustments that he makes from the campaign."