Menendez was in the room when Trump mocked Pelosi and Dems walked out. Here’s what he saw.

Updated Oct 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — A day later, the confrontation between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the White House was still reverberating.

By now, most of you know what happened: Pelosi and other congressional leaders of both parties came to the White House on Wednesday to discuss the fallout and necessary response to Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Turkey had immediately invaded and attacked the Kurds who had been American allies in the war against ISIS.

It didn’t go so well. Trump denigrated Pelosi as a “third-grade politician” and she and some other Democrats responded by walking out of the meeting. Later, Pelosi said Trump had a “meltdown.” Trump called Pelosi “unhinged.”

New Jersey’s U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez had a front row seat to all the drama. Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was in the room and saw it all.

He was still stunned on Thursday.

“I have never seen the volatile, belligerent tone and the aspersions cast to the the speaker of the House, third in line for the presidency under the Constitution,” said Menendez, D-N.J. “I have never seen anything like that. It makes me worried.”

After the walkout, Menendez stayed behind with some other members of Congress and took their objections directly to Trump.

“His whole thing is, 'I made a campaign pledge, I’m keeping my campaign pledge,” Menendez said. “The corollary is that he’s keeping his campaign pledge regardless of the consequences to national security.”

Trump has defended his actions. “Our soldiers are not in harm’s way — as they shouldn’t be — as two countries fight over land that has nothing to do with us,” he said at the White House.

He said the two countries agreed to work “on an international basis to ensure that peace and security defines this border region of Syria.”

Trump’s policy has drawn bipartisan condemnation. The U.S. House on Wednesday voted, 354-60, to oppose Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, leaving the country’s Kurdish allies to the mercy of Turkish forces who immediately launched an attack on them.

All 225 Democrats and 129 Republicans, including Rep. Chris Smith, R-4th Dist., voted against Trump. Only 60 GOP lawmakers sided with the Republican president.

Menendez said Trump’s actions have not only put America’s Kurdish allies in danger, but gave Iran a long-sought land route into the Middle East, provided room for ISIS to re-establish itself, and provided Russia with a new opportunity to be a significant player in the region.

“This is the commander-in-chief,” he said. “This is the person who holds the nuclear code. This is the person who has to bring not only our nation but others in common cause together in order to achieve our collective interests. What I saw there is not someone who is capable of doing that.”

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment