Trump Justifies Betraying the Kurds: They “Fought With Us, But Were Paid Massive Amounts of Money”

Not even Lindsey Graham is defending the move.

Tasos Katopodis/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed bipartisan condemnation over his announcement that the US is withdrawing from northern Syria to make way for a Turkish incursion—a move that abandons longtime Kurdish allies who have fought against ISIS in the region. Amid the outcry, the president offered his self-described “great and unmatched wisdom” as reassurance that he would take action against Turkey if the country did anything “off limits.”

In a string of earlier tweets, Trump acknowledged the Kurdish role but appeared to argue that the Kurds had already been fairly compensated. Trump’s decision amounts to what many see as a stunning betrayal of a crucial ally, as Turkey has long viewed Kurdish forces as a terrorist organization. “The move marks a major shift in US foreign policy and effectively gives Turkey the green light to attack US-backed Kurdish forces,” according to CNN.

“The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so,” Trump said. “They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”

“I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the president’s fiercest allies, said during a call with Fox & Friends. In a scathing thread, Brett McGurk, the former special envoy in the US’s fight against ISIS, slammed the president:

In announcing the decision late Sunday, the White House revealed that it came shortly after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After posting five tweets on the situation, Trump resumed his attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This post has been updated to reflect ongoing breaking news.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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