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U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, a Dunlap Republican, talks with media before a State of Congress report to the McLean County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, at the Holiday Inn & Suites Bloomington-Airport.

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, said Tuesday that President Donald Trump's "abrupt" decision to withdraw American troops fighting alongside Kurds in Syria is a mistake.

"The Kurds have been with us when we fought ISIS, and we eliminated ISIS in Syria," LaHood told reporters following a roundtable discussion in downtown Springfield about a move to expand historic preservation tax credits. "They're our friends. They're our allies. We ought to be sticking with them."

LaHood said the "abrupt pullout" announced by Trump is the wrong approach.

"I worry about the slaughter of Kurds," he said an potential attack by Turkish troops. "And I worry about our relationships with allies, when we've said, 'We're going to be with you.. ...'"

He also that when the U.S. pulled back forces in Iraq, "the void that was created ... created ISIS. Arguably, you could have the same effect here in Syria." He said he has expressed his concerns to the White House.

Trump said the announced pullout of troops was to keep the United States from being in "endless war." He also denied, on Twitter, that the Kurds, who he called "special people and wonderful fighters," have been abandoned, and warned that "any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy. ..."

Meanwhile, as Democrats in the U.S. House continue an inquiry into possible impeachment of Trump, LaHood said he has "real concerns" about the inquiry and "the partisan nature of it."

Democrats were critical Monday when the White House blocked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, from speaking with investigators for House committees. Investigators are looking into Trump's request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter's business with a gas company in that country.

"I haven't looked at the legal reason why they don't want him to testify before Congress," LaHood said of Sondland. "I think they have a right to do that." He said many such issues will end up in court. In the meantime, he said, the White House feels like "this is a partisan witch hunt ... it's almost impeach first and find the evidence secondarily.

"I think we get into very dangerous territory when we're looking at phone calls between world leaders," he added, saying he's read the transcript -- actually reconstructed notes -- of the call between Trump and Ukraine's president, and also a whistleblower report concerning that call. He noted he is a former federal prosecutor, and said, "I don't see anything in there that qualifies for impeachment."

Asked if it was appropriate for Trump, on live TV, to ask China to investigate the Bidens, LaHood said, "That's not something that I would do, but he's the president of the United States. He ... clearly has his reasons."

LaHood said that while he knows of no known wrongdoing, he also wonders why Hunter Biden was paid $50,000 a month by a Ukrainian company.

"Most people in my district don't make $50,000 in a year, and this guy's getting $50,000 a month from a country that doesn't have a lot of money? So I have real concerns about that," he said.

Asked about his role as an honorary state chair of Trump's re-election campaign, given controversial actions and statements from the president, LaHood said, "I look at the results. ... We have the best economy we've had in 50 years. ... I look at the two (new) justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. I look at how we've rebuilt our military. I look at what we're doing to make this country great again. I love those results.

"Do I always like his tweets and how he treats people? Not necessarily ... but I like the results." He also said that in 2016, "people knew all this about Donald Trump," and he won the election.

LaHood spoke with reporters following a roundtable discussion concerning an expansion he is sponsoring of a tax credit for work on historic buildings. Among changes, it would increase the credit to 30 percent from 20 percent for projects under $2.5 million. The discussion occurred at Centre@501, the former First United Methodist Church downtown Springfield that, upgraded with help of a tax credit, has multiple uses, including housing offices of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and apartments.

The legislation, which LaHood hopes to pass with a tax bill by the end of the year, would increase restoration projects in communities throughout the state, said Frank Butterfield, director of the Springfield office of the nonprofit Landmarks Illinois.

"We'll see more project completed, more jobs created," he said.

"This is a win ... for communities, it's a win for developers, it's a win for workers, and it protects our heritage," LaHood said. There are 45 co-sponsors and there is bipartisan support, LaHood said.

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