On Monday, the Christian Broadcasting Network founder and “700 Club” host delivered an uncharacteristically strong rebuke of the White House’s announcement that it will stand by as Turkey prepares to invade northern Syria, leaving the American-allied Kurdish forces vulnerable to attack.
Slamming the decision, Robertson said he is “absolutely appalled that the United States is going to betray” the fighters, who have partnered with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the battle against the self-described Islamic State.
“The President, who allowed Khashoggi to be cut in pieces without any repercussions whatsoever, is now allowing the Christians and the Kurds to be massacred by the Turks,” Robertson said. “And I believe ― and I want to say this with great solemnity ― the president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven if he permits this to happen.”
Robertson, who initially showed little concern for Khashoggi’s death in relation to U.S.-Saudi relations, telling his audience that “you don’t blow up an international alliance over one person,” has also been a known defender of the president’s since before he was elected.
Robertson and CBN have scored a handful of interviews with Trump, giving the network a level of access not afforded to most media outlets, as the president often just speaks via Twitter and occasionally on Fox News.
Through CBN, Trump has no doubt been able to reach evangelical voters within his base. At times, Robertson has appeared to address these supporters, too, even attempting to explain away Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tape scandal when, just a month before Election Day, audio emerged of Trump bragging about groping women.
Instead of unequivocally condemning the remarks, Robertson praised Trump as being “like the phoenix” who would rise from the blow dealt to his campaign.
But for Robertson, who is known for spreading hateful views including homophobia and Islamophobia on-air, Trump’s stance on Syria crossed a line.
The televangelist’s remarks add to the outcry from a growing list of conservatives and foreign policy experts who have expressed shock at the White House’s announcement, warning it spells danger for both the U.S. and the Kurds.