Less than 24 hours after threatening to “totally destroy and obliterate” the economy of Turkey if they dare challenge his “great and unmatched wisdom” following his decision to allow them to invade Northern Syria, President Donald Trump praised the country on Tuesday as “good to deal with” and an “important member in good standing of NATO.”
Trump’s about-face comes as more details begin to leak about just what led to the White House’s total abandonment of its Kurdish allies in Syria, and why the president seems so keen to heap lavish praise on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to a National Security Council source who spoke with Newsweek on Monday, Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Northern Syria followed a Sunday phone call between the two leaders, in which Erdogan “rolled” the president who so frequently boasts of being a master negotiator.
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdraw to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the source explained.
“The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line,” the source added.
That charge of spinelessness comes into even sharper relief when you consider what reportedly instigated the call in the first place: hurt feelings.
“NBC News learned that the call initially was instigated to quell Erdogan’s growing rage over not getting a sit-down with President Trump last month at the United Nations General Assembly,” MSNBC’s Willie Geist reported on Tuesday morning’s broadcast of Morning Joe.
“So the reporting NBC News has is that basically Donald Trump was trying to get Erdogan off the phone, because he was mad that he didn’t get to have the one-on-one with him here in New York a couple of weeks ago and said, ‘Okay, go into Syria,’” Geist continued.
Erdogan’s angry phone call seems to have done the trick. Not only does Turkey now have a green light to invade, but per Trump’s tweet—and confirmed by NBC—the Turkish president has been invited to the White House next month.
Your master dealmaker at work, folks!