Stephanopoulos Grills Pompeo On Being a ‘Party to Ethnic Cleansing’

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In an exclusive Sunday morning interview with ABC chief anchor and Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos on This Week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo subjected himself to a grilling from a network intent on pinning genocide on the Trump administration.

Immediately after introducing Pompeo to his viewers, Stephanopoulos jumped right to trying to link President Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria with an assumed genocide of the Syrian Kurds by invading Turkish forces:

And we are joined now by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Thank you for joining us this morning, Secretary Pompeo. And let me begin with what we just heard from that Kurdish commander; says the Kurds are not happy, that this is a betrayal that she fears will lead to genocide.

Pompeo schooled his hostile host by sharing a recent report he received, “within the last half-hour,” that there was very little fighting and the ceasefire was holding.

“A little, sporadic smalls fire, a mortar or two. But we got wounded out of a town called Ras al-Ain last night and we're hoping that the SDF forces will move out of those towns and this cease-fire that the Turkish leaders and the SDF leaders agreed to while we were on the ground in Ankara will hold,” he explained.

 

 

A couple of minutes later, Stephanopoulos circled back around and ridiculously demanded that Pompeo promise he or the administration wasn’t to be a part of any genocidal actions:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Lindsey Graham raises the other concern as the Kurds are withdrawing from that border with Turkey, that it would lead to a military occupation that displaces hundreds of thousands. He says that's not a safe zone. It's ethnic cleansing.

Can you assure the Kurdish people and the President's allies in Congress that you will not be party to ethnic cleansing?

“Go take a look at the statement that was released jointly,” Pompeo told the Clinton hack. “No fewer than three of the paragraphs were aimed squarely at ensuring that in this space, this Turkish controlled space, between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.”

Adding: “In that Turkish controlled space, that there wouldn't be attacks on minorities, that this was about getting a cease-fire, a secure area, and that this, in fact, will save lives in that very space. That was our miss set. We accomplished it and now we made to make sure that the commitments that were made in that statement are honored.”

At one point in the interview, Stephanopoulos tried to assert the administration was giving up on America’s interests in the region, including the fight against ISIS. He played a soundbite of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) suggesting those points on the floor of the Senate, even rubbing it in Pompeo’s face saying: “Senator Rubio was your first choice for president back in 2015.”

“I'm proud of the work that our team has done under President Trump's leadership. Not only in countering ISIS in Syria, you know, George, Syria's been a mess for an awful long time. But countering ISIS all around the world,” Pompeo shot him down.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

ABC’s This Week
October 20, 2019
9:03:46 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And we are joined now by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Thank you for joining us this morning, Secretary Pompeo. And let me begin with what we just heard from that Kurdish commander; says the Kurds are not happy, that this is a betrayal that she fears will lead to genocide.

MIKE POMPEO (secretary of state): George, we need to go back to where this all began for the Trump administration. It began with a situation in Syria where the previous president had drawn a red line and failed to enforce it. It began with 4 million people internally displaced or even as many as 6 million people, half a million people killed. This administration came in when ISIS was on the rise. You remember, George, people were in cages with their heads being cut off. This administration worked seriously alongside the SDF forces and our allies as well to build out a counter-ISIS coalition and to take down that caliphate.

Now, the President believes we've accomplished a significant part of our mission and he wants our folks to come home and we're beginning to work on that. This week, the Vice President and I traveled to Ankara after Turkey had made its decision, against the President's desire, to make an incursion into Syria and we put out a joint statement which we think will really save lives. It's worked so far. There's much work to be done to continue to implement it but we're optimistic.

I got a report within the last half-hour from my senior leaders who indicate that there's relatively little fighting. A little, sporadic smalls fire a mortar or two. But we got wounded out of a town called Ras al-Ain last night and we're hoping that the SDF forces will move out of those towns and this cease-fire that the Turkish leaders and the SDF leaders agreed to while we were on the ground in Ankara will hold.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The question will be how far they have to remove but as you know, the feelings of betrayal stated by the Kurdish commander right there are echoed by many of the President's allies in Congress. We saw Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, saying withdrawing from Syria is a grave mistake. He calls it a strategic nightmare. Lindsey Graham has raised concerns as well, as was Senator Marco Rubio on the Senate floor. Listen.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): We got these 2,000 troops working with the Kurds to keep ISIS from reimaging and to provide leverage in a future Syrian settlement, to restrain Assad's power, to safeguard's Kurdish interests, our partner's interest, and eliminate Iranian interests. Every one of those stated interests that was our policy less than two weeks ago has been wiped out.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Rubio was your first choice for president back in 2015. You cited the success you felt against ISIS over the last couple of years. The concern is that there's going to be backtracking on that now that we've abandoned the allies with were fighting with against ISIS.

POMPEO: George, I listened closely to what Senator Rubio said. Each of the interests he identified this administration is still fully committed too. I can assure you that the effort to push back against Iran are real and continuous, unlike what the last administration did that picked Iran as its strategic security partner in the Middle East.

We've taken an incredibly different approach to that and the Islamic Republic of Iran is feeling it and security, stability in the Middle East is increased because of the work we’ve done, the counter-ISIS campaign, I'm proud of the work that our team has done under President Trump's leadership. Not only in countering ISIS in Syria, you know, George, Syria's been a mess for an awful long time. But countering ISIS all around the world.

We've been serious about it, we’ve been thoughtful, we’ve been strategic, and we will continue to make sure that we take the primary effort, which is to make sure we keep the American people safe from the threats from radical Islamic terrorism wherever we find it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But didn't the President put those gains at risk by pulling the troops out? We saw the fighting immediately.

POMPEO: I'm very confident that this administration's efforts to crush ISIS will continue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Lindsey Graham raises the other concern as the Kurds are withdrawing from that border with Turkey, that it would lead to a military occupation that displaces hundreds of thousands. He says that's not a safe zone. It's ethnic cleansing.

Can you assure the Kurdish people and the President's allies in Congress that you will not be party to ethnic cleansing?

POMPEO: George, we were very clear and the Vice President could not have been more clear when we were speaking with President Erdogan. Go take a look at the statement that was released jointly. No fewer than three of the paragraphs were aimed squarely at ensuring that in this space, this Turkish controlled space, between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.

In that Turkish controlled space, that there wouldn't be attacks on minorities, that this was about getting a cease-fire, a secure area, and that this, in fact, will save lives in that very space. That was our miss set. We accomplished it and now we made to make sure that the commitments that were made in that statement are honored.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The Turks said they got everything that they wanted.

POMPEO: Yeah, I was there. It sure didn't feel that way when we were negotiating. It was a hard-fought negotiation. It began before the Vice President and I even arrived in Ankara. It lasted hours while we were there. We achieved the outcome that President Trump sent us to achieve.

(…)

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