Trump unloads over Syria, impeachment, Doral controversies, says he ‘should be allowed to run the country’

By Brooke Singman | President Trump vented his frustration Monday about the criticisms leveled against him over recent controversies, including his Syria pullout decision, the location of the 2020 G-7 summit and the House’s “illegitimate” impeachment inquiry, while saying the “president of the United States should be allowed to run the country, not have to focus on this kind of crap.”

The president spoke to reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting at the White House, striking an unapologetic tone as he defended his withdrawal of the U.S. military from northern Syria, claiming that his decision was simply a delivery of a 2016 campaign promise to bring U.S. troops home.

“Where is the agreement that says we have to stay in the Middle East for the rest of humanity? For the rest of civilization, to protect the Kurds? We’ve taken very good care of them,” Trump said. “We’re bringing our troops back home. I got elected by bringing our troops back home.”

Earlier this month, Trump ordered the bulk of approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw after officials said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made it clear in a phone call that his forces were about to invade Syria to push back Kurdish forces. Turkey has considered many of the Kurdish fighters to be terrorists. Several hundred U.S. troops currently remain in the southern Syrian outpost but are there mostly to counter threats from Iran.

The president, despite mounting criticisms over the move over longstanding military relations with Kurdish armed forces, has maintained that the Kurds are “going to be safe,” while noting that the U.S. “never agreed to protect [them] for the rest of their lives.”

Last week, the president sent a letter to Erdoğan encouraging him to “work out a good deal,” threatening to “destroy” the Turkish economy if he continued his aggression against the Kurds.

“I’m trying to get out of wars, we may have to get in wars—we’re better prepared than we’ve ever been,” Trump said, noting that he has his eye on Iran, and warned that the country “could be hit like they’ve never been hit before.”

But Trump went on to blast congressional Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., over the formal impeachment inquiry into him.


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