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House Condemns Trump’s Syria Decision, Democratic Leaders Walk Out of Meeting with Trump

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House Condemns Trump’s Syria Decision, Democratic Leaders Walk Out of Meeting with Trump

2019-10-17 11:42:291 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Nancy Pelosi (Image source: Screenshot)

As Donald Trump continues to get further and further pushed into a corner, he just continues to strike out more and make more questionable statements. 

On Wednesday the House voted on whether they should pass a resolution to condemn Trump's actions regarding Syria and ended with a large number voting in favor of passing the resolution.

Earlier this month Trump abruptly pulled U.S. forces out of Syria, leaving the Kurds, longtime allies of the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State, vulnerable to Turkey's attacks. These actions were condemned by many. 

The resolution that was passed with a bipartisan vote of 354-60-4 says Turkey should cease its military action in Syria and that the White House should come up with a plan for an "enduring defeat" of ISIS.

After the vote, Democratic leaders held a meeting with Donald Trump, but they didn't stick around, walking out as the president went on what was described as a "nasty diatribe" and called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) a "third-rate politician." 

After walking out on Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader (Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) faced the press to discuss the circumstances.

"He just couldn't handle it, so he kind of engaged in a meltdown," Pelosi told the press regarding Trump's reaction to the vote. 

Later, she said, "I think now we have to pray for his health, because this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president."

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham defended the president, saying he remained "measured, factual, and decisive" and that Pelosi's decision to leave the meeting was "baffling but not surprising." 

"She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues," added Grisham. "While Democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country."

Trump returned the volley later in the day he tweeted a photo from the meeting of Pelosi pointing her finger at Trump. He claimed it was her who had an "unhinged breakdown." Her allies said it was her standing up to his bullying, and she posted that opinion to her social media. 

Schumer and two other officials stated that Trump repeatedly downplayed the threat of the Islamic State fighters who were released, insisting the U.S. doesn't need to be concerned about "terrorists 7,000 miles away."

House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) reminded Trump that the terrorists who were responsible for killing more than 3,000 Americans in the attacks on 9/11 "came from 7,000 miles away." 

Schumer started reading to Trump comments from former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned late last year after disagreeing with the president on Syria, on NBC's "Meet the Press" last Sunday.

Mattis said the U.S. needed to continue to pressure the region, as if it doesn't, "then ISIS would resurge." 

According to three officials, Trump interrupted Schumer and referred to his former Defense secretary as the "world's worst overrated general" and said he wasn't "tough enough," while Trump was the one who "captured" the Islamic State.

He said his he capturing ISIS faster than what Mattis though he would, exaggerating that time by saying,"I captured them in one month." 

Schumer and Pelosi wanted to know Trump's Middle East strategy, and he responded it was to "keep the American people safe."

Pelosi replied, "that's not a plan. That's a goal." 

As the Democratic leaders walked out of the meeting, Trump called out to them, "See you at the polls."

"It was a meeting on one of the most serious crises affecting America in a while," stated Schumer. "And instead of having a serious discussion, the president just threw out insults." 

Trump is making such comments despite having Republicans against his actions as well. Usual ally Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) continued to strike Trump down.

He said the president's comments on Wednesday "completely undercut" Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who have been dispensed to Turkey to try to convince Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to go with a case-fire and negotiate, but he's already said he wouldn't do that. 

"I worry we will not have allies in the future against radical Islam, ISIS will reemerge, and Iran's rise in Syria will become a nightmare for Israel," tweeted the senator.

"I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making, and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking." 

Trump dismissed those concerns later in a press conference, saying, "Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people's wars."

He also stated that the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a group of militants who launched attacks in Turkey under the name of Kurdish nationalism, "Is probably worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways" than ISIS.  

"So it's a very semi-complicated — not too complicated if you're smart," he said. "but if it's a semi-complicated problem, and I think it's a problem that we have nicely under control."

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