Maybe it was seeing House Republicans give him the thumbs-down on his pullout game in Syria that pushed him over the edge, but Donald Trump reportedly had a “meltdown” while meeting Wednesday with Democratic congressional leadership after the vote.
“He was insulting, particularly to [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi]. She kept her cool completely, but he called her a third-rate politician,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, describing the interaction. “This was not a dialogue, it was sort of a diatribe. A nasty diatribe, not focused on the facts.”
Pelosi added, “What we witnessed on the part of the President was a meltdown, sad to say.”
Later, according to the Washington Post, Pelosi clarified that Trump’s actual dig was that she was a “third-grade politician.”
But, in any case, the damage was done.
Team Trump had called the meeting to discuss his abrupt decision to pull U.S. troops out of the war-torn country, setting up the Syrian Kurds—U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group—to be attacked by government forces from next-door Turkey, their long-sworn enemies.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have criticized Trump’s decision, agreeing that the move endangers people who have had the United States’ back, and also threatens U.S. security by opening the door to the resurgence of terrorists.
House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came together Wednesday in a rare show of bipartisanship to provide a stinging rebuke of Trump. By a vote of 354-60, Republicans joined Democrats in passing a nonbinding resolution to condemn Trump’s decision, the Associated Press reports.
After the vote, Democratic leaders from the House and Senate arrived at the White House to meet with Trump, and basically it appeared that Trump couldn’t handle the truth, Pelosi said, according to NBC News.
“I think that vote, the size of the vote—more than 2 to 1 of the Republicans voted to oppose what the president did—it probably got to the president, because he was shaken up by it,” Pelosi said.
The Democratic leaders said that when asked, Trump had no plan to hold back the Islamic State, NBC reports.
Trump’s seemingly laissez faire attitude toward the Syrian conflict appeared to be on display during a press conference Wednesday while hosting the prime minister of Italy. Trump’s take on the conflict between the Kurds and Turkey? Eh, they fight.
“They’ve been warring for many years. It’s unnatural for us, but it’s natural for them. They fight,” Trump said, later saying of the Kurds that they, “by the way, are no angels, OK?”
Amid all this, Pelosi told reporters of Trump: “I think now we have to pray for his health, because this was a very serious meltdown,” later adding to the Post, “I’m not talking about mentally. I’m talking about handling the truth.”