At their first meeting since the impeachment inquiry began, President Trump repeatedly told Congressional Democratic and Republican leaders that he isn’t concerned about terrorists that live “7,000 miles away.”
Washington Post Congressional reporter Mike DeBonis said that the president made the assertion “several times” during the contentious meeting.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) reportedly pushed back on that comment, reminding the president that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had come from people “7,000 miles away.”
NEW DETAIL per three sources: Trump said several times in mtg he wasn’t concerned about terrorists 7,000 miles away. After Pelosi & Hoyer left, @RepLizCheney spoke up to remind Trump that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 “came from 7,000 miles away” themselves. https://t.co/FySaRMsSzc
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) October 16, 2019
“You don’t think the country’s worried about ISIS?” Jonathan Karl, ABC’s White House correspondent, asked the president hours earlier. “You mentioned earlier you think some of the countries might hate ISIS more than the United States.”
Trump answered that because ISIS is 7,000 miles away, the U.S. doesn’t need to worry about it.
“Absolutely. Russia hates ISIS as much as the United States does. Iran hates ISIS. I mean, we’re fighting a war for Russia, we’re fighting a war for Iran? You look at Syria. Syria hates ISIS. We’re over there killing ISIS. Don’t forget, we’re 7,000 miles — so we’re killing ISIS, we’re 7,000 miles away. Russia is much closer. Iran is right there, Turkey is right there. They all hate ISIS. Turkey a little bit less so, but the others very much. Russia had a plane blown up by ISIS. Russia wants nothing to do with ISIS. Russia’s tough. They can kill ISIS just as well, and they happen to be in their neighborhood,” Trump said.
“All I’m saying is this, I’m not going to lose potentially thousands and tens of thousands of American soldiers fighting a war between Turkey and Syria. Syria’s not our friend. Assad is not our friend. That’s the way it goes.”
Pres. Trump: "Turkey and Syria will hopefully work it out between themselves. Hopefully, ISIS will be guarded."
— ABC News (@ABC) October 16, 2019
When asked by reporters last week whether he was concerned that Islamic State fighters would be able to escape from prison because of Turkey’s ongoing military operation, Trump flippantly predicted that the militants would escape to Europe, not the U.S.
“What if ISIS fighters escape and pose a threat elsewhere?” a White House reporter asked the president Wednesday afternoon.
“Well they are going to be escaping to Europe, that’s where they want to go,” Trump said.
“They want to go back to their homes. But Europe didn’t want them for months. They could have had trials, they could have done whatever they wanted, but as usual, it’s not reciprocal,” Trump added.
He continued: “When President Obama took the PKK, that’s a tough deal because that’s been a mortal enemy of Turkey. And so when you bring them into a partnership, it’s a tough situation. … They’ve hated each other for many, many years.”