Trump is at it again. Earlier on Sunday, the President tweeted that he’s “bringing soldiers home!”—a statement promptly rebutted by Pentagon chief Mark Esper, who confirmed that U.S. troops aren’t coming home anytime soon but simply relocating to Iraq.
Defense Secretary Esper, who Trump referred to as “Mark Esperanto” in the since-deleted tweet, said “all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State group,” “per the Associated Press. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, was quick to defend the President’s false statement when asked about it, telling Fox News Sunday that “the quickest way to get them [American troops] out of danger was to get them into Iraq.”
Early on Monday, it was reported by Reuters that “more than 100 vehicles” were seen crossing into Iraq from the conflict zone in Syria. Trump’s decision to move U.S. troops from Syria has been met with considerable criticism, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling it a “grave strategic mistake.” In a op-ed for The Washington Post, McConnell writes that “the recently announced pullout risks repeating the Obama administration’s reckless withdrawal from Iraq, which facilitated the rise of the Islamic State in the first place.”
In response to the president’s tweet, Rep. Pramila Jayapal said, “We simply cannot believe anything the Trump administration says—and neither can our allies.”