President Trump faced fierce backlash after justifying Turkey's invasion of Syria on Thursday by saying that they needed to have parts of northern Syria "cleaned out."
While speaking to reporters in Texas, Trump praised his "friend," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for being a "hell of a leader" after Vice President Mike Pence was able to get Turkey to agree to a five-day "pause" in fighting a week after they had invaded Syria.
During his rambling comments ahead of his Dallas rally, Trump seemingly endorsed the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds by Turkish forces, saying:
"So you have a 22-mile strip that for many, many years, Turkey, in all fairness, they've had a legitimate problem with it. They had terrorists, they had a lot of people in there that they couldn't have. They've suffered a lot of loss of lives also. And they had to have it cleaned out."
You can watch the comments below.
Referring to Kurds living along Turkish border in Syria, Trump says of Turkey, "they had to have it cleaned out." https://t.co/W8J7IFctO3— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1571336619.0
Pence has referred to the deal as a "ceasefire," but Erdogan hasn't gotten on board with that lingo, emphasizing, "This is not a ceasefire," and saying that Turkey has no intention of withdrawing troops.
But that didn't stop Trump from boasting about his achievement, saying, "We've gotten everything we've ever dreamed of," and claimed the Kurds are "incredibly happy" with the outcome.
He called it a "great day for the United States," before adding, "It's a great day for Turkey...The Kurds were great. Great day for the Kurds. It's really a great day for civilization."
He also credited himself with stemming a lot of bloodshed, saying:
"You would have lost millions and millions of lives. They couldn't get it without a little 'rough love,' as I called it...they needed a little bit of that at the beginning."
TRUMP: "What Turkey is getting now is they are not going to have to kill millions of people." 😳 https://t.co/JXKfam96hv— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1571336835.0
People were horrified by Trump's casual language about Turkey's targeting of Syrian Kurds.
@atrupar This is how it started in the 1930’s. First the words. Then denials about what was said. Then nations say… https://t.co/NdsAOJTyw6— Kathryn Webster (@Kathryn Webster)1571351192.0
@atrupar Okay come on... we’re allowed to say Hitler now right? I mean this is basically ethnic cleansing.— Brian Wilde (@Brian Wilde)1571339971.0
@atrupar @chrislhayes Kurds living in traditionally-Kurdish territory... The Kurds have been there a very long tim… https://t.co/shHGFgnESp— XLProfessor (@XLProfessor)1571347094.0
This is the President of the United States defending ethnic cleansing by an autocratic regime — against an ethnic g… https://t.co/OS0nkfzIJt— Jason P. Steed (@Jason P. Steed)1571339774.0
@atrupar As in ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Saying the quiet part out loud— AbbyNormal (@AbbyNormal)1571336694.0
Yet another disturbing example of Trump's abhorrent behavior.
@atrupar Hey @SpeakerPelosi, is the direct enablement and endorsement of genocide considered a high crime and misde… https://t.co/oaFPAkR2oS— Scott Wainner (@Scott Wainner)1571338107.0
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.
Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!