Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Trump in letter to Erdoğan: "Don't be a tough guy"

In this image, Trump and the Turkish president speak to each other behind flags
Trump welcomes Erdoğan to the White House in 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump attempted to convince Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 9 to make a deal with the U.S. to end Turkey's military offensive into northern Syria, according to a letter first reported by Fox Business' Trish Regan.

The big picture: The letter, dated the same day as Erdoğan's formal announcement of Turkey's military operation, appears to be one of Trump's first diplomatic responses to a situation that has left U.S.-allied Kurdish forces vulnerable to attack and stoked fears that ISIS militants could escape Kurdish-run prisons. It came three days after the White House announced that the U.S. would withdraw troops from the area, a move that many have condemned as Trump giving Erdoğan a "green light" to launch an attack.

Senators: Erdogan's White House invitation should be revoked

Senators Marsha Blackburn, Mitt Romney and Jeanne Shaheen
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Photo: Drew Angerer/ Zach Gibson/Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Senators Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) have publicly suggested that President Trump revoke his invitation to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next month after Turkey's offensive into Syria.

The big picture: Domestic pressure is mounting against Trump following his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, which gave Erdogan space to invade the area. Bipartisan opposition against Trump's has been building on this issue — even pushing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to work with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to draft sanctions against Turkey's outrages in Syria and support Kurdish allies.