Trump’s 1,000th Day In Office Was One For The Books

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi addresses Donald Trump at the White House (public domain)

Donald Trump’s 1,000th day in the White House was certainly one for the history books.

Via Axios:

A one-page letter from Trump to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (read it below) sounded fake when it first surfaced on Twitter, but was real:

“Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. … Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.”

(click image to enlarge)

During a meeting with the congressional leadership in the Cabinet room, according to a senior Democratic aide who provided a readout, Trump declared that Jim Mattis, a four-star Marine general and Trump’s first defense secretary, was “the world’s most overrated general. … You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”

Axios reports that Trump told Pelosi: “President Obama drew a red line in the sand. In my opinion, you are a third-grade politician.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said: “This is not useful.”

Pelosi and Hoyer stood and left the meeting.

Afterward, Pelosi told reporters as she was leaving the White House: “What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown — sad to say.”

In response, Trump tweeted: “Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her ‘upstairs,’ or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!”

The Donald also tweeted a photo of Pelosi standing amid the room full of men. It was meant to ridicule her, but the move backfired. Standing in a bold blue suit with all the men seated, she was clearly the most powerful person in the photo.

Pelosi responded to Trump’s tweet by making the photo her profile pic on Twitter.

Also – the House voted 354-60 to condemn Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. That included 129 Republicans voting with the Democrats.

Quite the day, huh?

So. Much. Winning.

Defense Sec Defends ‘Deliberate Withdrawal’ From Syria Ordered By Trump

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Fox News

During an appearance on Fox News ‘Face The Nation,’ Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told Chris Wallace the United States is  “preparing a deliberate withdrawal” of about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria “as safely and quickly as possible.”

The move comes a week after Donald Trump announced the shifting of American troops embedded with Kurdish forces in northern Syria, a move that opened the door for Turkish forces to move against the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF).

The SDF has been the United States’ primary allies in the fight against ISIS.

Republicans and Democrats agree only bad will come from this ‘deliberate withdrawal.’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a military veteran, said this on CBS’ Face The Nation:

And Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) agreed with his colleague from across the aisle:

Turkey Begins Attack On Northern Syria

The New York Times reports:

Turkey launched a planned military operation in northeastern Syria on Wednesday aimed at flushing out a Syrian militia backed by the United States, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Erdogan said the operation aimed to “prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border,” but provided no other information about whether Turkish ground troops had entered Syria or how far in they would go.

A spokesman for the United States-backed militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces, said that Turkish warplanes had begun carrying out airstrikes.

Turkey’s long-planned move to root out United States-allied Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria accelerated rapidly after President Trump seemingly gave a green light in a call with Mr. Erdogan on Sunday. The operation has sparked fierce debates in Washington and could open a dangerous new front in Syria’s eight-year-old war.

Donald Trump tweeted that he wants the Middle East to take care of itself:

Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives underscored their opposition to Trump’s decision to move U.S. forces out of the area:

Criticism From Right & Left As Trump Announces Withdrawal From Syria

Donald Trump defended his decision today to pull support for America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria saying it was “time for us to get out” and let others “figure the situation out.”

From the Washington Post:

President Trump faced a swift torrent of Republican criticism Monday as lawmakers rebuked his plan to withdraw troops from northeast Syria, a move Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said would undermine America’s national security and potentially bolster Islamic State terrorists.

McConnell (R-Ky.), in a rare public split with Trump, said that a supermajority in the Senate disagreed with the president’s abrupt withdrawal announcement, raising the specter of veto-proof action to oppose the decision.

“A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell said in a statement Monday. “And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

McConnell’s statement, in which he called on Trump to “exercise American leadership” and reconsider his plan to withdraw troops from Syria’s border with Turkey, echoes the comments of other Republicans who have condemned the president’s decision Monday.

The Donald took to Twitter to try and defuse the criticism:

Donald Trump Declares Victory In Syria, Orders Withdrawal Of All US Troops

Donald Trump declares victory in Syria

The New York Times reports that Donald Trump has declared victory in Syria, and ordered a complete withdrawal of all U.S. ground troops within the next 30 days.

Trump tweeted that he was won the 4-year war on ISIS in the war-torn country.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president said in a Twitter post on Wednesday morning. He offered no details on his plans for the military mission, nor a larger strategy, in Syria.

But Pentagon officials who had sought to talk the president out of the decision as late as Wednesday morning argued that such a move would betray Kurdish allies who have fought alongside American troops in Syria and who could find themselves under attack in a military offensive now threatened by Turkey.

I’m not a military expert, and won’t pretend to be, but I do know when ending a military mission there needs to be communication and planning.

Plenty of folks, like Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, were blindsided by the sudden surprise announcement:

White House Press Secretary Caught Trying To Fudge “War Room” Pic

White House Press Secretary tweeted out the above message and photo in an attempt to show Donald Trump in a strong, military moment.

Unfortunately, her tweet was misleading because Vice President Mike Pence (pictured on Trump’s right in the photo) was in Peru at the time of the Syria bombings.

What she really wanted was a “bin Laden war room pic,” but the reality is there isn’t one.

So she tried to fudge it hoping folks wouldn’t notice.

Folks noticed…

Trump Backtracks On Syrian Missile Strike Threat

Donald Trump

Donald Trump backtracked today on his previous Twitter rant threatening Russia and Syria with a missile strike saying that an airstrike wasn’t necessarily imminent.

“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place,” Trump tweeted this morning. “Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS.”

Trump curiously asked for praise from Americans for doing his job: “Where is our ’Thank you America?’”

Trump yesterday:

Trump today:

Trump Threatens Syria & Russia: Our Missiles “Will Be Coming, Nice And New And “Smart!”

Donald Trump appeared to threaten Syria and Russia Wednesday morning in a tweet post that vowed missiles fired at Syria “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!'”

From The New York Times:

President Trump put Syria and Russia on notice Wednesday morning in a Twitter post, promising that missiles fired at Syria “will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” and telling the Kremlin that it should not partner with a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” After the threat, the president said in a separate tweet that relations between the United States and Russia are worse than ever.

On Tuesday, the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned the United States and its allies that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down, according to a Reuters report. There were already indications that Syria was moving key aircraft to a Russian base in the Mediterranean Sea, taking pains to protect important weapons systems.

Remember when Trump said attacking Syria would lead to “very bad things happening?”

And remember when Trump tweeted that “broadcasting” our military moves wasn’t smart?

Trump Threatens “Big Price To Pay” For Syrian Chemical Attack

For the first time in his presidency, Donald Trump called out Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection to a chemical gas attack in Syria that killed at least 70 dead and more injured.

From The New York Times:

President Trump on Sunday promised a “big price” to be paid for what he said was a chemical weapons attack that choked dozens of Syrians to death the day before, and a top White House official said the administration would not rule out a missile strike to retaliate against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

In a tweet, Mr. Trump laid the blame for the attack partly on President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the first time since his election that he has criticized the Russian leader by name on Twitter. Mr. Putin’s forces have been fighting for years to keep the Assad government in power amid Syria’s brutal civil war.

Mr. Trump also left no doubt that he believed the assessment of aid groups that Mr. Assad’s military had used chemical weapons to inflict the carnage on Saturday in Douma, a rebel-held suburb of Damascus.

The Times goes on to report that the White House has not ruled out a missile strike response among options available to the U.S.

The United Nations Security Council has announced it will hold emergency meeting Monday in light of the chemical attack.

According to reports, Trump has been mulling over pulling all U.S. military out of Syria. Observers are now curious to see if the Donald follows through on that considering these developments.

And, of course, war hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to go to war so bad:

News Roundup: July 25, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• Let’s hear it for the bears! Furball in focus (above).

• According to a new USA Today poll, Americans are split 42% yes/42% no on whether President Trump should be impeached.

• The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army, or TQILA, is a newly-formed LGBT-centric unit of volunteers who have joined the fight against ISIS in Syria.

• Trump says Attorney General Jeff Sessions only endorsed him for president because of his “massive numbers” at campaign rallies. #brutal

• Always on the lookout for new out music? Check out this list of summer tunes by LGBT artists.

• Mark Ruffalo shared this pic of Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston cuddling with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi on a recent flight. #Grrrr

A post shared by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on Jul 22, 2017 at 1:57pm PDT