Pelosi: Trump had 'meltdown' during White House meeting on Syria – as it happened

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Speaker and Chuck Schumer say Trump ‘insulting’ and disrespectful after House voted overwhelmingly to condemn troop withdrawal

1.05am BST

Most of the rest of the day was spent processing the White House meeting to talk about Syria and Turkey:

12.56am BST

Of note: today marked President Trump’s 1,000th day in office.

Today was Trump’s 1,000th day.

Things he did:

-Told Turkey & Syria to fight over sand
-Pushed conspiracy in Oval Office
-Bragged about his “many Italian friends”
-Called his election “corrupt”
-Kurds “no angels”
-Called Pelosi “third-grade politician”

12.54am BST

US Immigration and Enforcement confirmed today that another detainee died in custody on Tuesday. Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, 43, a Cuban national, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana. He’s been in custody since May.

Preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation, but the case is still under investigation.

12.20am BST

President Trump wanted to shame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when he tweeted out the photo of her from the meeting about Syria and Turkey today. Press secretary Stephanie Grisham ironically quoted senate minority leader Chuck Schumer saying, “The Speaker kept her cool” when she tweeted out the photo, as if the photo depicted Pelosi not keeping her cool in some way.

Unfortunately for the Trump administration, all they really did was make Pelosi look like the only woman at a table full of men, making sure her point was heard. And Pelosi evidently thought the photo made her look pretty cool too:

Pelosi has updated her Twitter cover photo

The picture Pres Trump tweeted from today’s meeting at the WH that he captioned “Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!” is now Pelosi’s cover photo:

Pelosi just made the pic her Facebook background too

11.55pm BST

House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff sent out an impeachment inquiry update letter to his colleagues

JUST IN: In impeachment update letter to colleagues, SCHIFF says he intends ot make interview transcripts public once it would no longer impact “investigative equities.” >>>

Schiff: “It is worth taking stock of what we already know. We are already in possession of the call record which lays plain the President’s efforts to abuse his office for political gain.”

11.38pm BST

In lashing out against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump provides us with a nice visual of the most talked-about meeting in Washington today.

Nervous Nancy’s unhinged meltdown!

That would happen to be a woman standing up and asserting herself at a table full of men. I understand such a scene may cause a meltdown but I assure you it’s not on Speaker Pelosi’s behalf.

Pelosi literally standing up to Trump:

11.25pm BST

And throughout all this, President Trump has been tweeting up a storm. His latest is, perhaps, most baffling:

Do you think they like me?

11.13pm BST

More is coming out of the heated White House meeting regarding Syria and Turkey – you know, the meeting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described as a “very serious meltdown” for President Trump.

Wow– more details on the White House meeting, via a senior Democratic aide:

Pelosi directly to Trump: Russia has always wanted a “foothold in the Middle East” and now it has one.

“All roads with you lead to Putin.”

Trump also told Pelosi, per source: “I hate ISIS more than you do.”

She told him: “You don’t know that.”

Per dem source. Trump at one point said to Pelosi and Schumer, “someone wanted this meeting so I agreed to it.”

The meeting was called by the White House.

Per same aide: Trump to Pelosi: “President Obama drew a red line in the sand. In my opinion, you are a third-grade politician.”

Hoyer stated: “This is not useful.”

Speaker and Hoyer stood and left the meeting.

Trump as they left said: “Goodbye, we’ll see you at the polls.”

10.50pm BST

If you’re just tuning in today, the buzzwords of the last hour or so are “third-rate politician”, possibly “third-grade politician”, “a very serious meltdown” and “world’s most overrated general”. All great Halloween costume ideas!

Romney on Pres Trump calling Pelosi a “third-rate politician”: “I think she has been a pretty effective politician over the years, and pretty skilled, capable person. So I respect her, I don’t always agree with her, but I respect her.”

10.45pm BST

A third-rate insult, perhaps?

.@realDonaldTrump called @speakerpelosi a “third rate politician” today in a White House meeting on Syria. That is a frequent Trump insult. A quick search found 57 times he has used “third rate” to describe some adversary or critic.

Pelosi says Pres Trump called her a “third GRADE politician,” not “third RATE politician”.

10.28pm BST

The White House responds to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her description of President Trump having a “very serious meltdown”:

NEW: White House Press Secretary tells me: “The President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising…While democratic leadership chose to storm out … everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room.”

10.18pm BST

According to multiple reports, President Trump lashed out at former secretary of defense Jim Mattis – a retired Marine Corps general.

A Dem source familiar with WH mtg says Trump called Mattis “the world’s most overrated general. You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take 2 yrs. I captured them in 1 month”

NEW–> Trump called Mattis the “world’s most overrated general” during the meeting with congressional leaders on Syria, three sources tell me + @mikedebonis. Prompted when Schumer pointed to Mattis comments that ISIS would resurge after the troop withdrawals

In the meeting, Trump said fewer than 100 ISIS prisoners have escaped. “The least dangerous” ones, he said. Defense Sec Esper confirmed the number, but not that they were the “least dangerous.” Asked if he agreed on that last part, Esper said, “I don’t know that.” Per @mkraju

10.11pm BST

Meanwhile, amidst reports on this “very serious meltdown”, President Trump tweets:


10.10pm BST

Here’s more from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on President Trump and his “very serious meltdown”:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on contentious White House meeting: “I pray for the president all the time…I pray for the safety and that of his family.

“Now we have to pray for his health—because this was a very serious meltdown.”

10.08pm BST

Hey all, Vivian Ho with the west coast bureau here. Let’s see where the rest of today takes us.

10.04pm BST

That’s it from me today. The Guardian’s west coast team will take over the blog for the next couple of hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

9.52pm BST

According to a letter obtained by a Fox Business reporter, Trump wrote a letter last week to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urging him to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Syria.

EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩’s letter to #Erdogan. ⁦@POTUS⁩ warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness

Question then becomes – was it actually sent that day (3 days after Erdogan call)?

9.25pm BST

An ABC News reporter noted that the Syria meeting marked the first face-to-face interaction between Trump and Nancy Pelosi since the House speaker formally launched an impeachment inquiry against the president late last month.

Trump and Pelosi’s first face to face meeting since the impeachment inquiry began… and it did not go well.

9.22pm BST

Speaking to reporters after the White House meeting on Syria, Nancy Pelosi said senior lawmakers witnessed Trump having a “meltdown.”

“What we just witnessed on the part of the President was a meltdown,” says Speaker Pelosi.

9.18pm BST

Leaving a White House meeting on the situation in Syria, senator Chuck Schumer said that Trump was disrespectful to Nancy Pelosi and called the House speaker “a third-rate politician.”

Oop… Schumer says after Trump meeting on Syria: “he was insulting particularity to the speaker. He called her a third rate politician…. said there were communists involved. You guys might like that.”

Schumer says it wasn’t a “dialog” it was a “diatribe.”

WH meeting w/Trump & Congressional ldrs Syria/Turkey breaks up. Schumer says Trump “has no plan to contain ISIS, other than relying on the Syrians and the Turks.”

9.14pm BST

Another poll has found that a narrow majority of Americans believe Trump should be removed from office.

According to the latest Gallup survey, 52 percent of Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 46 percent say he should not.

Gallup has 52% of Americans supporting Trump’s impeachment/removal from office.

For Clinton, that never got higher than 35% before the GOP-led House voted to impeach him.

For Nixon, it got to 58% by Aug 1974

9.03pm BST

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is planning to keep the chamber in session six days a week to conclude an impeachment trial against Trump by the end of the year, the Kentucky Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Politico has more:

McConnell told Senate Republicans on Wednesday that he expects Speaker Nancy Pelosi to approve articles of impeachment as early as Thanksgiving, according to five people familiar with Wednesday’s party lunch. McConnell then surmised that the Senate could deal with the trial by Christmas, concluding the impeachment proceedings before the Democratic presidential primaries begin.

While they said there’s no deal between Pelosi and McConnell, Republican senators believe it’s in both parties’ interest to move quickly. …

8.30pm BST

The blog is following news on multiple fronts right now. In addition to the House vote to condemn Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, there is impeachment-related news.

Michael McKinley, the former senior adviser to secretary of state Mike Pompeo, has concluded his closed-door testimony after speaking to House investigators for about five hours.

McKinley, former senior adviser to Pompeo, departs closed door impeachment inquiry deposition after about 5 hours

8.22pm BST

It’s worth noting, given how partisan congressional politics have become, that about two-thirds of House Republicans voted to condemn Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria.

The Republicans who backed the president’s widely criticized decision largely come from some of the most conservative districts in the country.

Here’s the roll call vote on a resolution opposing the U.S. abandoning Kurdish forces in Syria. Adopted 354-60, with four members voting present.

The 60 Republicans who voted with Trump are, by and large, from some pretty Trump-y districts.

8.16pm BST

Meanwhile, senator Lindsey Graham, who is usually closely aligned with the president, is pleading with Trump to listen to his national security team and reconsider his stance on Syria.

Mr. President, forget about what I’m saying about Syria.

Listen to your own national security team who are telling you the consequences of your decision and the impact it will have on our nation.

I am deeply concerned that the White House has canceled an all-Member classified briefing on the dangerous situation the President has caused in Syria, denying the Congress its right to be informed as it makes decisions about our national security.

8.10pm BST

The House vote to condemn Trump’s troop withdrawal from northern Syria came just hours after the president called the widely criticized decision “strategically brilliant.”

Wild splitscreen right now as Trump essentially brags about his Syria decision as Republican and Democratic House members are literally lining up on the floor to condemn it

After @realDonaldTrump says Kurds are “no angels,” @senatemajldr McConnell opens weekly presser w/this:

“I want to express my gratitude to the Kurds. We had a great alliance…I’m sorry that we are where we are. I hope the VP and the Sec of State can somehow repair the damage.”

8.05pm BST

In a rare showing of bipartisan agreement, the House has just overwhelmingly voted to condemn Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.

The final vote was 354-60.

8.00pm BST

Federal authorities investigating ties between Rudy Giuliani and allegedly corrupt Ukrainian figures are reportedly exploring whether those wealthy foreigners tried to exploit their connection to the president’s personal lawyer to gain political influence.

CNN reports:

Kenneth McCallion, a New York attorney, says that investigators first approached him earlier this year to ask about Giuliani’s ties to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Giuliani associates indicted last week on campaign-finance related charges.

McCallion says FBI counterintelligence agents in February or March asked questions about some of Giuliani’s Ukrainian business dealings.

7.16pm BST

NEWS: State Dept. official Bill Taylor has been asked to appear at a deposition next TUESDAY, according to the letter obtained by NBC News w/ @HeidiNBC

Taylor is critical to Dems case. He wrote in a text that it was “crazy” to hold military aid for a political investigation

6.56pm BST

Trump: “I’m not going to get involved in a war between Turkey and Syria… If you look at the Kurds, I say this with great respect, they’re no angels.” We’ve paid a tremendous amount of money to the Kurds.

Trump: “Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years… I think Lindsey should focus on judiciary… That’s what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on.”

6.36pm BST

Donald Trump is speaking at a press conference at the White House now with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Trump: “The PKK, which is a part of the Kurds…is probably worse at terror, more of a terrorist threat in many ways, than ISIS.” (?)

6.27pm BST

ProPublica got their hands on documents that show Donald Trump’s company gave a lender and New York City tax authorities two different set of numbers for two of the company’s Manhattan buildings – 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

The documents show questionable differences in some expense, profit and occupancy figures. For example, the company told lenders that 40 Wall Street was 58.9% leased in 2012 but then rose to 95% a few years later. It told tax officials the building was 81% leased in 2013.

5.54pm BST

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, who joined Trump’s reelection campaign in April as a senior advisor, said at a Texas panel discussion support Trump’s reelection that Don Jr. “likes it when I play nurse,” according to a report from the Washington Examiner.

5.37pm BST

Back to our last post on the arrest of David Correia, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Correia was arrested at a New York City airport this morning for breaking campaign finance laws, and reports said Correia flew into New York to turn himself in.

5.30pm BST

Here is video of that exchange between Biden and Warren.

5.06pm BST

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the debate was a split-second pause delivered by US senator and Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Warren.

Former vice president Joe Biden had just cut into Warren detailing her accomplishments, raising his voice and pointing a hand toward her: “I went on the floor and got you votes! I got votes for that bill!”

joe biden: i did it, you owe me everything.

elizabeth warren:

Elizabeth Warren having to talk slow and quiet to Biden like you do the aggressive asshole at your job who is all, “I MADE YOU” is making my PTSD act up.

The fact that Biden yelled at Warren, “I got you the votes!” speaks to everything we know about peak white male fragility. #DemDebate

4.51pm BST

Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is on the attack following last night’s debate – a shift in position for the mayor who largely avoided attacking his rivals.

Pete Buttigieg, continuing his criticism of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, says his 2020 rival has been “more specific and forthcoming about the number of selfies she’s taken” than about laying out details of how she’d pay for “Medicare for All.”

Buttigieg got a lot of early interest by saying things like “the compromise position is single payer” and “Republicans are going to call us socialists anyway.” It’s a real question whether the same voters who liked that approach will like his new one.

4.37pm BST

Just to add on to our earlier post – Trump said his troop withdrawal from northern Syria would leave the conflict between Syria and Turkey. What we didn’t catch earlier was his comment that the Kurds are “not angels”.

“It’s not our problem,” Trump says in Oval Office of Turkey’s invasion into Syria. He adds that the Kurds are “not angels.” Also, he says this: “They’ve got a lot of sand over there…. There’s a lot of sand they can play with.”

Related: On the frontline as US troops leave northern Syria – podcast

4.17pm BST

This just in from the Associated Press:

A Florida man wanted in a campaign finance case involving associates of Rudy Giuliani is in federal custody.

Federal authorities say they took David Correia into custody Wednesday at Kennedy Airport in New York City.

4.03pm BST

Trump addressed his withdrawal of troops from Northern Syria in a photo-op with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The withdrawal has caused formerly American-allied Syrian Kurds to flee the region, as Turkey mounts a military offensive.

This latest report out from the Associated Press:

President Donald Trump said US troops are “largely out” of a region of Syria where Turkish forces are attacking Kurdish fighters.

Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters allied with the US after Trump pulled troops from the region this month. As he met Wednesday with Italy’s president, Trump said: “If Syria wants to fight to take back their land, that’s up to them and Turkey.”

Trump is doubling down. He’s not going along with the script put forward by Pompeo, Esper et al, that it is important to stop the resurgence of Isis etc.

3.52pm BST

New reports reveal Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, was likely a key facilitator of pressure on Ukraine.

3.31pm BST

More news is starting to surface about how career diplomats have been sidelined in the Trump administration, allegedly to make room for political concerns.

Here’s the latest from the Washington Post:

SCOOP: Pompeo’s senior adviser will tell impeachment inquiry that career diplomats were mistreated during his tenure & had careers sidelined for political reasons, per source. Ouster of Yovanovitch was “too much for him” so he quit. From me & @CMorelloWP

The unwillingness of State Department leadership to defend Yovanovitch or interfere with an obviously partisan effort to intervene in our relationship with Ukraine for the political benefit of the president was too much for him.”

3.24pm BST

Kurt Volker, former US special envoy to Ukraine and a key figure in the Congress’ impeachment investigation, just made a surprise appearance on Capitol Hill.

Surprise guest in the SCIF today, Kurt Volker, who testified earlier this month

3.17pm BST

Here’s a bit of news on the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, leaving the once American-allied Syrian Kurds to defend themselves against Turkish aggression.

From Reuters:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said he and US Vice President Mike Pence expect to meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan when they travel to Turkey this week.

Pompeo, in an interview on Fox Business Network, said the US delegation was planning to leave later on Wednesday and that the goal was to find a resolution to situation in Syria, not break the US-Turkey relationship.

2.59pm BST

Another worry for former vice president Joe Biden – he has been burning through fundraising cash. His spending outpaced Democratic rivals in spending through September, the AP reported this morning.

Biden had $8.9m in the bank – a fraction of the $33.7m and $25.7m that Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, respectively. Mayor Pete Buttigieg followed the pack with savings of $23.3m.

NEWS: Joe Biden has $8.98 million cash on hand

Sanders: $33.7 million
Warren: $25.7 million
Buttigieg: $23.4 million
Harris: $10.5 million

2.36pm BST

While we’re looking at the new endorsement from AOC, we will let Washington governor and former Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee tell you about last night’s big omission…

Not one single question about the climate crisis.
Not one single question about the climate crisis.
Not one single question about the climate crisis.

This is the existential crisis of our time. Not one single question, and that’s completely inexcusable. #DemDebate

2.16pm BST

Here is more on the endorsement the Sanders campaign picked up from progressive House Democrats, from our story this morning:

Ocasio-Cortez’s shock move ends months of speculation about the plans of the Bronx politician, who is hugely popular with the progressive wing of the party.

The endorsement is a major coup for Sanders, whose campaign has failed to move to the top of a broad Democratic field, and a blow to his fellow progressive senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has emerged as the race’s new frontrunner.

1.45pm BST

Good morning, US politics watchers, it’s the day after the Democratic debate in Ohio and there’s a lot going on, so stay tuned.

Continue reading…
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Link : Pelosi: Trump had ‘meltdown’ during White House meeting on Syria – as it happened



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