Day 1,000: Trump unbound, unfiltered
There have been many holy-crap-that-did-not-just-happen days in the Trump White House, but few top the soap opera of Oct. 16, 2019 — exactly Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency.
What they're saying: A GOP official in California told Axios' Margaret Talev: "The needle on the Batsh*t Crazy Meter may have gone past the red zone today."
Roll the camera:
- A one-page letter from Trump to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sounded fake when it first surfaced on Twitter, but was real: "Let's work out a good deal! You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy — and I will. ... Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later."
- During a meeting with the congressional leadership in the Cabinet room, according to a senior Democratic aide who provided a readout, Trump said that Jim Mattis, a four-star Marine general and Trump's first defense secretary, was "the world's most overrated general. ... You know why? He wasn't tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month."
- Pelosi told reporters in the White House driveway afterward: "What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown — sad to say."
- Trump tweeted: "Nancy Pelosi needs help fast! There is either something wrong with her 'upstairs,' or she just plain doesn’t like our great Country. She had a total meltdown in the White House today. It was very sad to watch. Pray for her, she is a very sick person!"
- Trump had said in the Oval Office earlier about the withdrawal from Syria that endangered our longtime allies, the Kurds: "Syria may have some help with Russia, and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there. So there’s a lot of sand that they can play with. But we were supposed to be there for 30 days; we stayed for 10 years. And it’s time for us to come home. ... The Kurds are much safer right now ... They’re not angels, if you take a look."
- The House voted 354-60 to condemn Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.
At the White House, Trump told Pelosi, according to the Democratic aide: "President Obama drew a red line in the sand. In my opinion, you are a third-grade politician."
- House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer said: "This is not useful."
- Pelosi and Hoyer stood and left the meeting.
- According to the aide, Trump as they left said: "Goodbye, we'll see you at the polls."
What's next: Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were wheels-up at 6 p.m. for a 12-hour flight to Turkey.
- Trump goes to Texas today, for a rally in Dallas tonight.
The bottom line: Day 1,000 is one they'll write books about.
Go deeper: Trump’s playbook for planting suspicion