President Trump appears “more determined” to defeat ISIS than Obama did, says Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
“I can see a powerful determination to defeat Daesh,” he said on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
“But more determination with President Trump than President Obama?” host Chris Wallace asked.
“Yes, I can see that determination,” Abadi said. “President Obama didn’t want to get involved in the first place. He wanted to just forget Iraq.”
The situation with ISIS “puzzled” Obama because of how they spread into both Syria and Iraq to the point where ISIS controlled about 40% of Iraqi land, Abadi added.
“So there was a lot of pressure on President Obama to come to the help of Iraq,” he said.
Wallace then pressed Abadi if he was upset with Trump’s intentions to cut foreign aid by 30%.
“We are not begging,” Abadi responded. “We have been fighting on the ground, fighting ISIL – Daesh – with our own blood, with our own sacrifices.”
Trump hosted Abadi at the White House last week, with both leaders praising the partnership between their countries as ISIS loses significant swaths of territory in Iraq.
“The two leaders agreed that the United States and Iraq will pursue a long-term partnership to decisively root out terrorism from Iraq and strengthen the Iraqi military and other key institutions,” said a White House statement on the meeting.
Though Trump wants to significantly reduce foreign aid, he did propose a $54 billion increase in defense spending earlier this month as part of the budget, with $3 billion planned to ramp up the fight against ISIS.
“It will show the president is keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do,” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney. “We are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars.”