Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi, the most senior Democratic politician, had a heated exchange in a bipartisan meeting following a strong condemnation of his Syrian policy by his own party.
Trump tweeted a picture of Pelosi standing and pointing at him whilst he looks back with a bewildered expression, with the caption: “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!”. Pelosi responded by promptly making the image her cover photo on twitter.
According to Pelosi, Trump had a “meltdown” when she pressed him on the reasoning behind his withdrawal of troops from Syria, alleging that “all roads lead to Putin”. A source reported that communication broke down to the extent that Trump even taunted “I hate ISIS more than you do”, to which Speaker Pelosi replied “you don’t know that”.
The response to the photograph has been similarly divisive, with Trump supporters accusing Pelosi of being disrespectful and Pelosi supporters praising her courage and leadership. The Democratic politicians, including Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, walked out of the meeting early as any attempts to build consensus seemed to irreparably collapse.
The meeting came in the wake of the non-binding resolution condemning Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria, which passed by a huge 345 votes to 60 in the House of Representatives, 137 of which were Republican. This rare rebellion from within Trump’s party is a testament to how disastrous his decision to abandon the Kurds to a Turkish invasion has been, as not only has he further destabilised the region and betrayed US allies, the move also threatens to reignite ISIS, as the Kurds hold thousands of the extremists in detention camps.
The bizarre letter sent to Turkish President Erdogan, which threatens to destroy the Turkish economy and outrageously advises Erdogan: “Don’t be a fool!”, is unlikely to reassure his Republican colleagues that he has everything under control. The Turkish President was quick to broadcast that the letter was swiftly thrown “in the bin”.
This is proving to be a tumultuous week for President Trump, with the foreign policy situation escalating at an alarming rate, alongside growing calls for impeachment. One thing has become clear, however; Republicans will support the President against almost all impeachment allegations, but when it comes to messing with the Middle East, Trump may have accidentally lost the support of his only political allies.
By Max Ingleby