In his column, James Freeman (WSJ) reports that White House pool reporter Brian Bennett of Time magazine describes the visit by the Trumps to Al Asad Air Base, a joint U.S.-Iraqi facility west of Baghdad:
Trump: “I want to come and pay my respects most importantly to the great soldiers, great troopers we have here.” While in Iraq, President Trump met with U.S. military leaders and spoke to troops.
After receiving a briefing from military commanders, President Trump took questions from reporters. In response to a media query on his decision to withdraw troops from Syria:
Mr. Trump said that he had given “the generals” multiple six month “extensions” to get out of Syria. Mr. Bennett adds in his pool report:
Trump: “They said again, recently, can we have more time? I said, ‘Nope.’ You can’t have any more time. You’ve had enough time. We’ve knocked them out. We’ve knocked them silly. I will tell you that I’ve had some very good talks with [Turkey’s] President Erdogan who wants to knock them out also and he’ll do it. And others will do it to.[sic] Because we are in their region. They should be sharing the burden of costs and they’re not.
“The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world.”
“It’s not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States.”
“… In Syria, Erdogan said he wants to knock out ISIS, whatever’s left, the remnants of ISIS. And Saudi Arabia just came out and said they are going to pay for some economic development. Which is great, that means we don’t have to pay.”
“We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.”
Read more here.
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