Democrats Say They Left White House Meeting on Syria After Trump ‘Meltdown’

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader from New York Chuck Schumer hold a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2019. (Photo: Erik S. Lesser, EPA-EFE)

Democratic congressional leaders said they walked out of a White House meeting Wednesday on Syria after what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a “meltdown.”

After top Democrats left the bipartisan meeting with Trump, Pelosi told reporters that the president appeared “shaken up” by a House vote condemning his decision to remove U.S. forces from northern Syria. The House approved the resolution in an overwhelming 354-60 vote, as even a majority of Trump’s Republican Party supported it.

“That’s why we couldn’t continue in the meeting because he was just not relating to the reality of it,” Pelosi said outside the White House, in only the latest instance of a gathering between the president and Democrats blowing up.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., described the meeting as more of a “nasty diatribe” than a “dialogue.” He said Trump called Pelosi a “third-rate politician” — though Pelosi later clarified the president used the term “third grade politician.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., added that he had “never” seen a president “treat so disrespectfully a coequal branch” of government.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who voted for the House measure to oppose pulling troops out of northern Syria, told reporters that Pelosi “stormed out” of the meeting. He called her behavior “unbecoming” and argued Pelosi tried to make the gathering unproductive.

The White House declined to comment on whether Trump called Pelosi a “third-rate politician.”

The vote earlier Wednesday added to the pressure the president faces as Turkey pushes ahead with an offensive in the region. The measure in part opposes the decision to end the military operations, urges Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cease the offensive and calls on the U.S. to support Syrian Kurdish communities.

During the meeting Wednesday, Schumer brought up former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ recent comment that the Islamic State group “will resurge” in Syria after the troop withdrawal, according to NBC News. Trump then called the former United States Marine Corps general “the world’s most overrated general,” saying “he wasn’t tough enough,” NBC reported.

Schumer on Wednesday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up the resolution.

Click here to read more.
Source: CNBC