After Turkey began pummeling northern Syria last week, President Donald Trump reportedly sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warning him to stop acting like a “tough guy” and “fool,” lest he suffer potentially grave economic consequences.
A copy of the letter was subsequently leaked to and published by Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan on Wednesday.
“Let’s work out a good deal!” the letter begins. “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. I’ve already given you a little sample with respect to Pastor Brunson.”
Andrew Brunson is an evangelical pastor who was held captive by Erdoğan’s administration from 2016 up until Trump “doubled metal tariffs on Turkey, fueling a weakening of the lira, and imposed financial sanctions on key Erdoğan aides involved in the pastor’s case” last year, according to Time magazine.
Combined, the tariffs and sanctions spurred enough damage to the Turkish economy that Erdoğan had no other choice but to bend the knee to Trump.
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness pic.twitter.com/9BoSGlbRyt
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019
“I have worked hard to solve some of your problems,” the letter continues. “Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal. General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past. I am confidentially enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.”
Gen. Mazloum Abdi is the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” the letter continues.
It concludes with Trump promising to give the Turkish president a ring “later.”
Within hours of the letter being leaked to the wider public, members of the blue checkmark “Resistance” — many of them alleged “journalists” or unsuccessful “Never Trumpers” — began mocking and/or criticizing the letter for its threatening tone:
Felt the need to ask WH if this is actually real and it is. pic.twitter.com/bHyIFw6cvO
— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) October 16, 2019
Honestly this letter from Trump to Erdogan would make more sense if it were written in crayon on lined practice paper rather than on White House letterhead pic.twitter.com/YN97BuXgqk
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) October 16, 2019
Not the Onion…. https://t.co/q5x4GBFFsr
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) October 16, 2019
Ok, let’s pretend this Onion-like letter is real for a moment.
Look at the date. Read the bluster. Now, realize we’re bugging out so fast we’re bombing our own bases. Tell me, do world leaders care one bit about the president’s ridiculous rhetoric? https://t.co/TPqOq0pd37
— David French (@DavidAFrench) October 16, 2019
Imagine leaking this insane letter to a Fox host because you think it makes the administration look good https://t.co/XPQhYC5uaX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 16, 2019
It’s hard to believe this well-considered, nuanced piece of statecraft didn’t get the job done. https://t.co/midqLCTULp
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) October 16, 2019
This is a letter from the leader of the free world. “Let’s work out a good deal!…Don’t be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” https://t.co/zQ1Shd8Msw
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 16, 2019
I didn’t know I could cringe this hard. https://t.co/UaQPfM9lXh
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) October 16, 2019
Half the world is laughing, the other half terrified, that we have a deranged fool as a president and seem unable to do anything about it. https://t.co/0aWCOQI3O1
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) October 16, 2019
In the latter tweet above, obsessed anti-Trump critic George Conway claimed half of the world is “laughing” while the other half is “terrified.”
But the only people who actually appear to be either “laughing” or “terrified” are members of the left’s so-called Twitterati like him.
An Economist/YouGov poll published earlier this week found that a 57 percent majority of Republicans support the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
It’s presumed this majority of Republicans would also support the president threatening Erdoğan with economic harm (via sanctions, tariffs, etc.) versus threatening him with military might, which, it would appear, is what Democrats would prefer.
Speaking in defense of his withdrawal on Wednesday, the president said the goal is to end the United States’ unnecessary involvement in other countries’ conflicts and, more importantly, “bring our soldiers back home.”
“But, really, the plan is to get out of endless wars, to bring our soldiers back home, to not be policing agents all over the world,” he said. “If you look at other countries — Russia, China — they don’t have countries to take care of.”
“We have — we’re close to 90 countries, in one form or another. We’re in 90 countries all over the world, policing and — frankly, many of those countries, they don’t respect what we’re doing, they don’t even like what we’re doing, and they don’t like us.”
President Trump at Press Conference with the President of Italy
We R so Blessed to have this Great Man as our President?????
‘The Plan is to get out of Endless Wars, to bring Our Soldiers back home and to not being Policing Agents all over the World’ pic.twitter.com/j2oG9TbJy1
— ZuZuQ (@ZuZuQ5) October 16, 2019
This sentiment is a bipartisan one to some degree, in that it’s shared by Democrat presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, not to mention 10 percent of Democrat voters and a higher 27 percent of independent voters.
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