Not a Fake: WH Releases Menacing Letter Trump Sent Turkey's President - So Intense People Thought It Wasn't Real


President Donald J. Trump might as well be Muhammed Ali at this point. The man has mastered the rope-a-dope fighting style, and the establishment media and his political opponents still haven’t caught on.

Like “The Greatest” did inside the ring, Trump does inside the White House. He teases the media by making himself a target and watches them throw flurry after flurry of rhetorical punches — or in Jim Acosta’s case the effeminate hand-slapping favored by squabbling little girls and spoon-chested effetes.

Once they’ve expended all of their energy creating a narrative, straw-manning the president, and tattooing the most outlandish theories and claims to their collective foreheads, Trump throws a haymaker that lays them all out.

It has happened time and again — now to the point that it’s genuinely hard to pick out just once instance to highlight.

It’s Trump’s preferred strategy in dealing with the media. Well, it’s one of his preferred strategies. (Rush is right that Trump loves talking to the press near Marine One instead of the White House briefing room because near the presidential helicopter they get no time on camera and can hardly be heard.)

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This time he chose to withdraw a handful of troops (reports vary, with The New York Times reporting 100-150) from northern Syria, knowing that stopping Turkey from establishing a buffer between its border and the Kurds was looking less and less likely.

Instead of risking American blood and treasure, Trump withdrew a small number of troops.

The media pounced. Accusations flew: Trump deserted our allies. No one will ever trust us again. Trump’s buddy Putin will fill the power vacuum.

Trump publicly warned Ankara that the U.S. would impose economic consequences if the Kurds were wiped out. The media mocked the president’s threat.

Turkey did move into Syria once Trump withdrew those troops, and as fighting escalated, Trump withdrew more troops totaling around 1,000.

Not content to let Turkey do whatever it was going to do, ABC ran alarming footage from the Turkey invasion front — only it wasn’t. It was from Kentucky. At a gun range.

Hours after apologizing for running the fake video, ABC ran a fake Trump quote, making the president sound incredibly insensitive about potential loss of life in the region.

Trump had roped the dopes. They were all in. Doomsday predictions. Fake videos. Fake quotes. They opened a Costco-sized can of recrimination against the president for every unpleasant truth he’d ever told about them.

And then Trump let loose with the haymaker.

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On Wednesday, the White House released a letter Trump sent to Turkey’s President Racep Erdogan on Oct. 9, the contents of which can only be described as explosive.

It was so explosive, in fact, that Twitter’s banks overflowed with declarations that the letter simply had to be a fake. No president would write something like this to another world leader.

Twitter was wrong. Trump, in the space of four short paragraphs, told Erdogan that if he made a false move, Trump would “be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy.”

The letter, posted by Fox Business’ Trish Regan, went on to warn Erdogan that history “will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.”

“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump cautioned.

And as sure as Erdogan called Trump’s bluff, Trump revealed it wasn’t a bluff at all, ordering a halt to trade negotiations with Ankara, and raising a 50% tariff on U.S. steel imports from Turkey.

The media wanted so badly for Trump to betray the Kurds and let Turkey waltz into Syria without paying a price.

Trump, however, had no intention of that. He knew that while America (rightly) has no stomach for sacrificing more servicemen in the sands of the Middle East, the U.S. controls massive economic levers — levers capable of crushing most other nations, including Turkey. And steel prices are, undoubtedly, just the start.

While higher import prices for the U.S. are no good, they’re a lot better than filling VA beds and families receiving condolence letters from commanding officers and the White House.

Trump’s incredible letter shows two things.

First, the president fully intends to continue engaging the world in such a way that despots are deincentivized from needlessly shedding blood, but he won’t necessarily risk American blood to do so.

Second, the president is following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. Trump’s letter is a cowboy letter, in some ways channeling Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday.

Holliday wasn’t just a cowboy. He was smart, cunning, confident and cocky — a description that fits Trump well. Holliday was fond of telling those who wanted to fight him, “I’m your huckleberry,” signalling that if they wanted to play for blood, he was willing to take them on.

Reagan was doubtless a cowboy. The Iranians acknowledged that on his first inauguration day. Trump is a cowboy too, a sort of Doc Holliday 2.0. And Turkey’s Racep Erdogan is learning the hard way that Trump is, and always will be, the bad guys’ huckleberry.

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Josh Manning is deputy managing editor for assignment at The Western Journal. He holds a masters in public policy from Harvard University and has a background in higher education.
Josh Manning grew up outside of Memphis, TN and developed a love of history, politics, and government studies thanks to a life-changing history and civics teacher named Mr. McBride.

He holds an MPP from Harvard University and a BA from Lyon College, a small but distinguished liberal arts college where later in his career he served as an interim vice president.

While in school he did everything possible to confront, discomfit, and drive ivy league liberals to their knees.

After a number of years working in academe, he moved to digital journalism and opinion. Since that point, he has held various leadership positions at The Western Journal.

He's married to a gorgeous blonde who played in the 1998 NCAA women's basketball championship game, and he has two teens who hate doing dishes more than poison. He makes life possible for two boxers -- "Hank" Rearden Manning and "Tucker" Carlson Manning -- and a pitbull named Nikki Haley "Gracie" Manning.
MPP from Harvard University, BA from Lyon College
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, tiny fragments of college French
Topics of Expertise
Writing, politics, Christianity, social media curation, higher education, firearms