An anonymous National Security Council (NSC) source reportedly said that President Donald Trump got “rolled” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in their negotiation over the presence of U.S. troops in Northern Syria, according to Newsweek.
The conversation between Trump and Erdogan took place Sunday night following the Turkish government increasing the number of troops placed on the Turkey-Syria border; Erdogan announced plans to invade Northern Syria.
The NSC source, who had first-hand knowledge of the call and spoke to Newsweek on the condition of anonymity, characterized Trump as being completely overmatched during his discussion with Erdogan.
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the NSC source said. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.”
Following a Sunday night statement from the White House confirming plans to withdraw troops from Northern Syria, Republican lawmakers criticized the president for being short-sighted and abandoning U.S. allies in the region.
As Law&Crime reported earlier, the decision caused an immediate outcry from some of Trump’s most ardent congressional supporters. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), said the decision was a “disaster in the making,” while Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the decision “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.”
Trump responded to the backlash Monday afternoon, curiously citing his own “great and unmatched wisdom” in defending his decision.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” Trump tweeted. “They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families…it is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory.”
The NSC official, however, told Newsweek that the president did not make any threat to impose economic sanctions on Turkey for taking military action in the region during Sunday night’s call.
[image via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images.]