Romney speculates Turkey called Trump’s bluff: ‘Are we so weak and inept?’ In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, blasted President Trump’s decision to pull troops from defensive positions in Syria .
And brought up the possibility that “Turkey may have called America’s bluff” in an exchange between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Are we so weak and inept diplomatically that Turkey forced the hand of the United States of America? Turkey?” Romney said.
“I believe that it’s imperative that public hearings are held to answer these questions, and I hope the Senate is able to conduct those hearings next week.” The transcript of the Oct. 6 phone call between Trump and Erdogan has not been made public. Shortly afterward, Trump,
“We know the truth about our Kurd allies. They lost 11,000 combatants in our joint effort to defeat ISIS. We dropped bombs from the air and provided intelligence and logistics behind the lines.
The Kurds lost thousands of lives. Eighty-six brave Americans also lost their lives so tragically,” Romney said. “It’s argued that the Kurds were fighting for themselves. Of course they were. That’s the nature of an alliance. We fight together, each pursuing our own vital interest.”
A day earlier, Trump fought off criticism of his decision to clear the way for Turkish forces to enter northern Syria and battle Kurdish forces stationed there, calling the move “strategically brilliant.”“I’m not going to get involved in a war between Turkey and Syria, especially when, if you look at the Kurds, and again I say this with great respect, they’re no angels,”
Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday as his own vice president and secretary of state headed to Turkey to try to persuade Erdogan to halt his military offensive.