Nearly a week after the White House announced that “U.S. Armed Forces” would “no longer be in the immediate area” as Turkey moved “forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” Vice President Mike Pence claimed that President Trump “did not give a green light to Turkey to invade Syria.”
“Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by telephone,” the White House announced in a statement on Oct. 6. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area.”
The statement added: “The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused. The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer. Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial “Caliphate” by the United States.”
“What did the president authorize in his conversation initially with President Erdogan a week ago on Sunday? … What did Erdogan say in response to [the ceasefire request]?” a reporter asked Pence on Monday.
“The United States of America did not give a green light to Turkey to invade Syria,” Pence argued on Monday as the administration struggled to contain the fallout of Trump’s abrupt troop withdrawal from northern Syria.
White House, last week: “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The U.S. Armed Forces … will no longer be in the immediate area.” https://t.co/T5eNOjT8Vu
Today: “The USA did not give a green light to Turkey to invade Syria.” https://t.co/GP0eSzH3A6
— Robson Fletcher (@CBCFletch) October 15, 2019
Mother Jones’ David Corn slammed Trump’s remark, reminding him that “Thou shall not lie.”
A reminder: Thou shall not lie… https://t.co/mnD21cR0ju
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) October 15, 2019
Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien called out Pence for “gaslighting” the country.
Literally he did. This episode in gaslighting is brought to you by weak leadership in America. https://t.co/bTTSsZPY5j
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) October 15, 2019