Donald Trump held a press conference with Italy's prime minister on Wednesday to get his version of the "truth" out there. And make no mistake, it was a version of something, but it did not even vaguely resemble the truth.
The very first question was about his abandonment of the Kurds.
"[The situation in northern Turkey] has nothing to do with us. And the Kurds are much safer right now," Trump said.
"But the Kurds know how to fight and as I said, they're not angels. They're not angels. You take a look. You have to go back and take a look," he continued, without mentioning the fact that 11,000 of them laid down their lives to fight and contain ISIS so we didn't have to send our troops over there.
For Trump, it's always all about the money, as he went on to claim that we paid them a lot of money to fight with us.
The rest of what he said is in transcript form below, with my emphasis added:
When I refused to allow the Americans a year-and-a-half ago to fight with the Kurds against Iraq. I said, wait a minute, this country, stupidly spent a fortune on fighting war with around Iraq, nobody knows how they spent it. But they spent actually we're in the Middle East now for $8 trillion if you can believe that stupidity. But in Iraq, we're in for probably 5.5 trillion. So they're telling me, wait a minute, we spent 5 trillion fighting in Iraq and with Iraq. Now we're supposed to spend money to fight with the Kurds against Iraq. I said, no thank you. So what happens is when I says, we're not going to fight with the Kurds. The Kurds left. They didn't want to fight against Iraq, which right now isn't the greatest fighting force in the world.
That happened twice. The Kurds actually are pulling back substantially from Turkey and Syria is pulling in. Syria probably will have a partner of Russia, whoever they may have. I wish them all a lot of luck.
Russia was involved in Afghanistan. It used to be called the soviet union, now it's called Russia for a reason. They've lost so much money in Afghanistan that they had to downsize. A very big downsizing. So if Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that's really up to them.
They have a problem with Turkey. They have a problem at the border. It's not our border. We shouldn't be losing lives over. Again we only had 28 soldiers, 26, 28. I got all different numbers. It ends up being 28, between the 26, 28. Two people and they're fully accounted for.
So that's the story. It's very simple, and we're watching and we're negotiating and we're trying to get Turkey to do the right thing because we'd like to stop wars regardless, whether Americans are in or whether they're not in, we want to see wars stopped, it's a very important thing. On a humanitarian basis, we want to see that happen.
He's lost Marsha Blackburn:
About that Axios article: Apparently Erdogan has reconsidered and will meet with Pence and Pompeo now, but how could it be possible that both of them are winging their way to Turkey for a meeting that wasn't confirmed?