Today Trump gave ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl ‘hell’ for their blunder with the Syrian footage – from Kentucky. This was in response to a question that Trump didn’t like where Karl asked him if he regretted giving the ‘green light’ to Turkey to invade:
After busing on Karl, Trump ripped into Lindsey Graham for criticizing his comments earlier in the Oval Office:
I believe these were the comments Graham was referring to, where Trump referred to the Kurds as ‘not angels’ and wished Syria and Russia “a lot of luck” as they deal with Turkey in Northern Syria. He also said “it’s not our border. We shouldn’t be losing lives over it.”
Here’s the fuller transcript from Grabien:
REPORTER: “Mr. President, what’s your bottom line with Turkey? Are you OK — are you OK with Erdogan saying that he’s not going to do a ceasefire?”
TRUMP: “He didn’t say that at all. He’s meeting — and he’s meeting today with some of our representatives, and Mike Pence is leaving today as you know. We needed to take an extra day for security reasons, but Mike is leaving. Mike Pompeo will be meeting also, who’s here right now with us and who’s going to be joining the meeting. We have a lot of great people over there. We’ll see. In the meantime, our soldiers are not in harm’s way. As they shouldn’t be, as two countries fight over land, that has nothing to do with us. And the Kurds are much safer right now, but the Kurds know how to fight. And as I said, they’re not angels, they’re not angels, take a look. You have to go back and take a look. But they fought with us. We paid a lot of money for them to fight with us and that’s OK. They did well when they fought with us. They didn’t do so well when they didn’t fight with us. When I refused to allow the Americans a year and a half ago to fight with the Kurds against Iraq, I said, wait a minute, this country stupidly just spent a fortune on fighting for, with, around Iraq. Nobody knows how they spent it, but they spent — actually we’re in the Middle East now for $8 trillion if you can believe that stupidity. But in Iraq we’re in for probably $5.5 trillion. So they’re telling me, wait a minute, we just spent $5.5 trillion fighting in Iraq and with Iraq and now we’re supposed to spend money to fight with the Kurds against Iraq. I said, no thank you. So what happens is when I said we’re not going to fight with the Kurds, the Kurds left. They didn’t want to fight against Iraq which right now isn’t the greatest fighting force in the world. That happened twice. The Kurds actually are pulling back substantially from Turkey. And Syria is pulling in. Syria probably will have a partner of Russia, whoever they may have. I wish them all a lot of luck. You know, Russia was involved in Afghanistan, used to be called the Soviet Union. Now it’s called Russia for a reason. Because they lost so much money in Afghanistan that they had to downsize, very big downsizing. So if Russia wants to get involved with the — with Syria that’s really up to them. They have a problem with Turkey, they have a problem at the border. It’s not our border. We shouldn’t be losing lives over it. But again we only had 28 soldiers, it was 26, 28, I got all different numbers, it ends up being 28, between the 26 and 28, two people and they’re fully accounted for. So that’s the story. It’s very simple. And we’re watching and we’re negotiating and we’re trying to get Turkey to do the right thing because we’d like to stop wars regardless whether Americans are in or whether they’re not in. We want to see war stopped. That’s a very important thing on a humanitarian basis, we want to see that happen.”
I just don’t know what to say anymore. We’ve pulled out and the Kurds have found themselves a new ally. I expect before it’s over there will be war between Turkey and Syria. And just like with Iraq we’ll have a heaping of regret, especially when these countries start taking aim at Israel from the other Syrian border.