Oct 17, 2019

Trump goes after "sick" Pelosi following Syria meeting "meltdown"

President Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, Sept. 25. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump hit back on Wednesday at House Democrats' suggestions that he had a "meltdown" during their meeting as he launched a personal attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Context: Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier Wednesday that they walked out of the meeting with Trump on Turkey's military invasion after he suggested that there was no plan to contain the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Syria. They said he also attacked Pelosi in a "nasty diatribe."

Why it matters: Per Axios' Zachary Basu and Ursula Perano, Pelosi suggested that Trump was "shaken up" after the House voted overwhelmingly and in bipartisan fashion to condemn his decision to move U.S. troops out of northern Syria.

  • Democrats and Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has been among Trump's most loyal defenders, have lobbed intense criticism at the president over allegations that he has abandoned the Kurds.

The big picture: It was the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Pelosi since House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Pelosi had "stormed out of the meeting" to make it "unproductive" and "political" in a moment of crisis.

  • During the meeting, Trump called former Defense Secretary James Mattis "the world's most overrated general," a Democratic source familiar with the meeting's events told Axios.
  • The White House said in a statement: "The President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi's decision to walk out was baffling."
  • Trump also tweeted a photo he captioned "Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown!," which the speaker later made her cover photo on her Twitter page.
Photo: Twitter

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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Pelosi leads U.S. congressional group in Jordan for talks on Syria

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) arrived in Jordan Saturday, where she's leading a group of U.S. lawmakers for meetings with Jordanian King Abdullah II and other top officials on security in the region, her office confirmed in a statement.

"With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to ISIS, Iran and Russia."
— Pelosi's statement on the Jordan visit
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Pentagon chief says U.S. troops to leave Syria for Iraq

A soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in September in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha, near the border with Turkey. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Saturday night that all of the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will continue the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, from western Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: President Trump has faced scathing criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike for his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which paved the way for Turkey to lead a military offensive against Kurdish forces who allied with the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

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Day 1,000: Trump unbound, unfiltered

Photo via President Trump's Twitter

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."

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019