Some Trump supporters turn on president over US strike on Syria

Alt-right, nationalist voters who felt they were promised a more isolationist policy take to social media to vent anger

Conservative author Ann Coulter addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington on Saturday Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Conservative author Ann Coulter addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington on Saturday Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

US President Donald Trump’s decision to order a strike on a Syrian air base overnight in response to a suspected chemical attack earlier this week was hailed by Middle East allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, but deeply disappointed a small but vocal group of Trump supporters from far-right and nationalist circles.

Some in the so-called alt-right movement — composed loosely of anti-establishment conservatives who also have white nationalists, extreme right ideologues within its ranks — saw Trump’s decision to take military action in Syrian theater as a sort of betrayal.

According to Vox, some of the most prominent voices in the American far-right have announced their disappointment with the president’s decision and some have even gone as far as accusing him of being a puppet of the “deep state” institutions they believed his election would upset.

Indeed, Trump in 2013 had called on his predecessor Barack Obama to stay out of Syria after the former president issued his “red line” on the use of chemical weapons.

Paul Joseph Watson, a contributor to the far-right website Infowars, a site propagating various conspiracy theories, tweeted that he was getting “off the Trump train.”


In a following tweet, Watson wrote: “I’ll be focusing my efforts on Le Pen, who tried to warn Trump against this disaster,” in reference to Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front party. Le Pen, who is expected to survive the first round of French elections in May, said in a televised interview that she was “disappointed” with Trump for abandoning the isolationist policy she believed he stood for.

The leader of Britain’s far-right UKIP party, Nigel Farage, also expressed his disapproval, saying he still supported Trump but was “confused” by his decision to strike Syria.

Conservative publicist Ann Coulter, who has been an influential supporter of Trump during the campaign, wrote in a tweet: “The beloved rebels we’ll help by intervening in Syria: women forced into veils & posters of Osama hung on the walls.”

She accompanied her tweet by a paragraph describing life in Idlib, under the control of the rebels. Coulter did not say where the paragraph was taken from.

A Twitter user whose profile says he is an “alt-right American Nationalist. Pro-white. Pro-Europe. For global white solidarity,” said Trump’s “America First” slogan means “American [sic] fucking first. I’m just sick of fucking games.”

Richard Spencer, the man who coined the term “alt-right” and notoriously celebrated Trump’s election with the call “Hail Trump,” followed by some in the audience then performing Nazi salutes, said that by the 2020 election he may support Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Hawaii.

According to a report in The New York Times, Gabbard met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in January, and on Thursday this week condemned the American attack as shortsighted and reckless.

Mat Stoller, a fellow at the New America think tank, noted the sheer volume of angry comments posted on against Trump on the news website seen as most loyal to him. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, was formerly head of the right-wing site.

Laura Igraham, a former Fox News anchor and currently host of a popular radio show, tweeted that Trump’s “policy change” has made Hillary Clinton happy and Republican ex-presidential candidate Marco Rubio “ecstatic.”

Most Popular
read more: