WASHINGTON – The House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution Wednesday rebuking President Trump for his pullout of troops in Syria that paved the way for a Turkish offensive against US Kurdish allies.
The House voted 354-60 on a resolution that opposed Trump’s decision to end US military efforts at the border that prevented Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.
In a rare show of bipartisanship, 129 Republicans — including New York Reps. Peter King and Lee Zeldin — joined with all Democrats to pass the resolution. Four members voted present.
Shortly after the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders left a White House meeting after Trump berated her as a “third-rate politician.” Pelosi said Trump had a “meltdown” and was “shaken” by the fact so many Republicans voted against his Syria moves.
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Trump’s decision to leave Kurdish allies unprotected “a mistake.”
“As messy as Syria was, this was working pretty well,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday.
McConnell said “many of us” were hoping Trump would reverse course – to no avail.
“I think it was a mistake and I hope it’s not too late to stop this aggression,” McConnell said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer called on McConnell to put the same House resolution up for a vote in the Senate “because the safety of America, the safety of the Kurds are in the hands of one person — President Trump.
“And the best way to pressure him is a strong bipartisan resolution, such as passed [by] the House to undo the damage, he has done,” Schumer said after the White House meeting with Trump.
Democratic New York Rep. Eliot Engel authored the bipartisan resolution with Texas GOP Rep. Michael McCaul.
In a floor speech, Engel admonished Trump for giving Turkish President Erdogan a “green light to charge into Northern Syria” and attack Syrian Kurds who were the US partners in fighting ISIS.
“That reckless and impulsive decision was a betrayal of our partners,” Engel said. “It was a gift to Russia, a gift to Iran, a gift to ISIS, and a gift to Assad. And it was a blow to our national security.”
Trump has denied he gave Turkey the “green light” for the offensive, but said he stands by the decision to pull US troops away from the border that offered a layer of protection to the Kurdish allies.
“I’m not going to get involved in a war between Turkey and Syria, especially when you look at the Kurds,” Trump said Wednesday. “ … They’re no angels.”
Trump said he won’t put the lives of US troops at risk to intervene in a conflict between Turkey and Syria.
“Let them work it out,” Trump said.