Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring a House resolution condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit Syria to the Senate floor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during an afternoon meeting with senior lawmakers that Trump was “very shaken up” by the 354-60 vote, which saw over two-thirds of House Republicans lend support to the bipartisan resolution.
Sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and Republican Michael McCaul, the resolution “opposes the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations” in northeastern Syria.
The resolution urges Trump to restrain Turkey and offer a “clear and specific plan” for the defeat of the Daesh terror group.
During Trump’s meeting with a group of two dozen bipartisan senior lawmakers from both chambers, the president called Pelosi a “third-rate politician” and engaged in personal attacks against Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said while addressing reporters.
“This was not a dialogue. It was sort of a diatribe, a nasty diatribe not focused on the facts,” he said.
He along with Pelosi and House Majority leader Steny Hoyer walked out of the meeting before it concluded, the lawmakers said, because of Trump’s attacks.
“This crisis required a rational, reasonable discussion between those of us who have been elected by the American people to set policy,” he said. “Unfortunately, the meeting deteriorated into a diatribe as Leader Schumer has said, and very offensive accusations being made by the president of the United States.”
Trump’s decision to pull back troops from northern Syria, followed by his decision to withdraw completely, has drawn widespread bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have been weighing a series of responses.
Turkey began its long-planned military operation Oct. 9 to secure its borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity two days after a telephone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump.
Ankara wants to eliminate terrorist elements of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG, from the region.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
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