Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have just cut yourself off from all headlines to preserve your last shreds of sanity) you’ve heard that things have been rocky between Trump and Congress as of late. This conflict boiled over on Wednesday when congressional leaders met with Trump to discuss the Syrian conflict, as The Week reports. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump “had a meltdown” and that she was “praying for his health” at the severity of it.
Trump spun Pelosi’s words and threw them back at her in his Twitter take:
The root of Trump’s meltdown boomerangs back to Trump himself, per usual. The meeting came after the House, including 129 Republicans, voted to pass a resolution condemning the Trump-authorized U.S. military withdrawal from northern Syria.
Things between White House and Congress are messy, but they are nothing compared to the violence brewing between Turkey and Syria. The removal of U.S. troops leaves Kurdish allies in the area exposed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s military forces that considers the Kurds terrorists and plans to attack them as such. (Get the full summary of this fiasco here.)
“He was just not relating to the reality of it,” Pelosi said of Trump’s reaction to the vote.
These contributing factors undoubtedly led to the sour mood Trump reportedly brought to the conversation. According to the New York Times, Trump started the 20-minute time-bomb of a meeting by saying he didn’t want to be there. Trump then spoke about a letter sent to Erdogan that he held as evidence that he didn’t green-light Turkey’s invasion of Syria.
Democratic Senator and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was also in the meeting with Pelosi. Schumer started to read a quote from Trump’s former defense secretary, James Mattis, whom Trump called “the world’s most overrated general” because “he wasn’t tough enough.” Trump then claimed he “captured ISIS” faster than Mattis thought was possible. Considering ISIS are the very forces gaining the upper hand by Trump’s removal of U.S. troops from northeast Syria, it is unclear what he means by this claim.
Then the conversation turned toward the other touchy sector of the globe for Trump: Russia. Pelosi said that Russia has long been after “a foothold in the Middle East” and Trump’s blunder with Syria just gave Russia that opportunity. “All roads with you lead to Putin,” Pelosi said.
The discussion got more heated and nonsensical after that, per The Associated Press:
Trump: “I hate ISIS more than you do.”
Pelosi: “You don’t know that.”
Schumer: “Is your plan to rely on the Syrians and the Turks?”
Trump: “Our plan is to keep the American people safe.”
Pelosi: “That’s not a plan. That’s a goal.”
Trump then retorted by calling Pelosi a “third-rate politician.” It’s apparent this comment led to Democrats walking out of the room, hopeless that any progress or words beyond childish slander would be reached.
“He was insulting. Particularly to the speaker,” Schumer said in the aftermath. “This was not a dialogue, this was a diatribe.”
Here’s a video of Schumer, complete with Pelosi trying not to laugh at the absurdity of the situation:
After the Democrats walked out of the meeting, Trump said, “Goodbye, we’ll see you at the polls.” In order to end this nightmarish administration, that’s where we’ll all be next November.