Democrats say they left White House meeting on Syria after Trump ‘meltdown’ – CNBC
The vote earlier Wednesday added to the pressure the president faces as Turkey pushes ahead with an offensive in the region. The measure in part opposes the decision to end the military operations, urges Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease the offensive and calls on the U.S. to support Syrian Kurdish communities.
During the meeting Wednesday, Schumer brought up former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ recent comment that the Islamic State group “will resurge” in Syria after the troop withdrawal, according to NBC News. Trump then called the former United States Marine Corps general “the world’s most overrated general,” saying “he wasn’t tough enough,” NBC reported.
Schumer on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up the resolution.
The vote also came as Trump lashed out at Democrats for their impeachment inquiry into Trump and whether he abused his power by urging Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Pelosi said the issue did not come up during the meeting Wednesday.
Lawmakers who oppose Trump withdrawing troops worry it will lead to the slaughter on the ground of Kurdish forces, U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Trump has repeatedly downplayed the potential for Turkey to harm Kurdish troops, even saying Wednesday that the Kurds are “no angels.”
During a news conference with Italy’s president Wednesday, Trump argued that “I didn’t give [Turkey] the green light” to launch an offensive in Syria.
Amid the backlash, the White House has condemned the Turkish offensive. Trump on Monday announced sanctions on Turkish officials and an increase in tariffs on Turkish steel to 50%.