Democratic Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzSchumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever CNN catches heat for asking candidates about Ellen, Bush friendship at debate NBA draws bipartisan backlash over China response MORE (Hawaii) called out Republican lawmakers on Thursday night following President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore ‘targeted assistance’ to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE‘s remarks likening Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurds to a schoolyard fight.
“Enough is enough. Republican silence is a historic travesty,” Schatz tweeted in response to Trump’s remarks during a campaign rally in Dallas.
Enough is enough. Republican silence is a historic travesty. https://t.co/w1x9AuP38i
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) October 18, 2019
The senator weighed in shortly after Trump appeared during the rally Thursday evening in which he touted a cease-fire announced by his administration earlier in the day, with officials saying Turkey has agreed to pause its incursion into northern Syria for five days.
“Sometimes you have to let them fight,” Trump told supporters, referring to Turkish and Kurdish forces that clashed starting last week after he withdrew U.S. troops from northern Syria.
“Like two kids in a lot, then you pull them apart,” Trump added.
The president said that the U.S. pushed for a “pause” after Turkey moved on Syrian Kurdish forces over multiple days.
Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the State Department, blasted Trump’s remarks as “obscene and ignorant.”
“200k innocent people displaced. Hundreds dead. Credible reports of war crimes. ISIS prisoners escaping. US evacuating and bombing its own positions or handing them to Russia. Two kids in a lot?” McGurk tweeted.
This is an obscene and ignorant statement. 200k innocent people displaced. Hundreds dead. Credible reports of war crimes. ISIS prisoners escaping. US evacuating and bombing its own positions or handing them to Russia. Two kids in a lot? https://t.co/rMJVcvOmFI
— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) October 18, 2019
The Trump administration announced Thursday that the U.S. would not pursue further economic sanctions on Turkey after Ankara agreed to temporarily halt its incursion in northern Syria.
Vice President Pence said after negotiations between a U.S. delegation and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Turkey would suspend its operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish YPG fighters to withdraw from a designated “safe zone” along the Turkish and Syrian border.
Trump has faced intense backlash the past two weeks over his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria ahead of Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces, with lawmakers accusing Trump of abandoning Kurdish allies that were integral in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS.
During his rally Thursday night, Trump praised Erdoğan as a “gentleman,” saying that “without a little tough love … they would’ve never made this deal.” He also praised both Turkey and the Kurdish YPG fighters as “friends.”
House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump Trump turns Pelosi’s ‘meltdown’ criticism around: ‘She is a very sick person’ Trump threat lacks teeth to block impeachment witnesses MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerPelosi fires back after Trump ‘meltdown’: ‘We have to pray for his health’ 5 big wins in US-China trade pact Trump defends ‘crime buster’ Giuliani amid reported probe MORE (D-N.Y.) tore into the move Thursday, calling it a “sham ceasefire” and saying that Trump is “flailing” by agreeing not to implement sanctions against Turkey.
“The President’s decision to reverse sanctions against Turkey for brutally attacking our Kurdish partners in exchange for a sham ceasefire seriously undermines the credibility of America’s foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted,” the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement.