President Donald Trump unloaded a whole lot of crazy during a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Trump attacked America’s allies in the Middle East, his own political allies on Capitol Hill and repeated talking points used by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdoğan.
Here are six of the most absurd things from the press conference.
Trump proved he has no idea what’s happening
During the press conference, Trump claimed his decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria was “strategically brilliant.”
Brett McGurk, who served as Trump’s special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, said Trump did not know what he was talking about.
Trump has no idea what’s happening. US personnel have been scrambling to evacuate positions surrounded by hostile Turkish-backed opposition forces. They are evacuating under duress and then bombing positions so nobody can seize them. https://t.co/buNKcHLEhi
— Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) October 16, 2019
Trump used authoritarian talking points
Trump repeated talking points used by Turkey, Russia and Syria about the strategic implications of his decisions in the Middle East.
These quotes are from Trump, moments ago, but they mirror talking points from Erdogan, Putin and Assad.
"The PKK… is probably worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in many ways than ISIS."
"Russia hates ISIS as much as the United States does."
"Syria hates ISIS."
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) October 16, 2019
Trump lashed out at the Kurds for being worse that ISIS
The president argued America’s Kurdish allies are, “no angels.”
Trump on the Kurds: “who is an angel? There aren’t too many around.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 16, 2019
“The PKK, which is a part of the Kurds, as you know, is probably, worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat in my ways than ISIS,” Trump argued.
“So it’s a very, semi-complicated — not too complicated if you’re smart — but it’s a semi-complicated problem,” he said. “I think it is a problem that we have very nicely under control.”
Trump downplays Turkey invading Syria: "They've been warring for many years. It's unnatural for us, but sort of natural for them. They fight & they fight long & hard…I say why are we protecting Syria's land?"
He then brings up the Kurds & says, "who, by the way, are no angels" pic.twitter.com/rrqJuuEQzP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 16, 2019
Trump lashed out at Lindsey Graham
The president also attacked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is one of his biggest supporters on Capitol Hill.
“Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the middle east for thousands of years with thousands of troops,” Trump said.
‘Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years’—trump to his most fervent Senate supporter after Graham warns Trump Syria approach is ‘disaster’ in the making
— Susan Glasser (@sbg1) October 16, 2019
Now attacks Lindsey Graham for criticizing his Syria decision.
"I think Lindsey should focus on Judiciary."
Then says he, too, should investigate the conspiracy theory that he was asking the Ukrainian president about on the July 25 phone call.
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 16, 2019
Trump argued America’s relationship with Italy goes back to ancient Rome
The president brought up his love for Christopher Columbus and explained his views of America’s history with Italy.
“On Monday, we paid tribute to the Italian explorer who led a voyage of discovery to the new world. A gentleman known as Christopher Columbus,” Trump said. “To me, it will always be called Columbus Day. Some people don’t like that. I do.”
—> Trump is slurring badly, couldn't pronounce "reception." Then said US-Italy ties go back to ancient Rome.
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) October 16, 2019
Trump pushed a conspiracy theory that Obama was behind ‘corrupt’ 2016 election
The president attacked his predecessor in a bizarre conspiracy theory.
“It was a corrupt election,” Trump claimed.
He went on to say that Attorney General Bill Barr was investigating whether it “goes right up to President Obama.”
Goes without saying that this is a completely reckless charge.
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) October 16, 2019