House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that she and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are working on a joint congressional resolution which they hope will “overturn” President Donald Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from the Syrian border with Turkey.
Trump announced later in the day that his administration would be imposing sanctions on Turkey for its invasion into northern Syria.
Pelosi tweeted Monday, “Pleased to have a conversation with Senator @LindseyGrahamSC this morning.”
She continued, “Our first order of business was to agree that we must have a bipartisan, bicameral joint resolution to overturn the President’s dangerous decision in Syria immediately.”
“As we find ourselves in a situation where the President gave a green light to the Turks to bomb and effectively unleashed ISIS, we must have a stronger sanctions package than what the White House is suggesting,” the California Democrat added.
Next, we must put together the strongest bipartisan, bicameral sanctions package similar to the bipartisan bill the House is advancing.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 14, 2019
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper strongly pushed back against the notion the Trump administration gave the green light for Turkey’s incursion into Syria.
He said at a news conference on Friday that he, Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley all spoke with their counterparts urging the Turks in the strongest terms not to launch their offensive.
The defense secretary recounted that Turkey, one of America’s NATO allies, was warned the move would greatly damage its relations with the U.S.
Esper told reporters once Turkey made it clear the incursion was coming, he ordered American soldiers out of the area of conflict for their own safety.
“I will not place American service members in the middle of a longstanding conflict between the Turks and the Kurds,” Esper said. “This is not why we are in Syria.”
Appearing Monday on Fox News, Graham explained the joint resolution that he and Pelosi are putting together is meant to strengthen sanctions the Trump administration imposes, not overturn the president’s decision to remove U.S. troops from the Syrian border.
“There’s going to be crippling sanctions imposed by the Congress to supplement what President Trump’s administration has done,” Graham said. “We’re going to break [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s] economy until he stops the bloodshed.”
“He’s going to see a united front that I haven’t seen in a long time, where Republicans and Democrats, working with the administration are going to come down on him like a ton of bricks,” the South Carolina senator added.
GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Mitt Romney of Utah have all come out in opposition to Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the Syrian border, according to USA Today.
The Associated Press reported the Turkish offensive has taken place over a 125-mile stretch of the border and displaced at least 130,000 people.
The president also said that he was increasing tariffs on Turkey steel back to 50 percent and stopping negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal.
“Turkey’s military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region,” Trump said. “I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey’s action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes.”
Trump also said he is “fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.