Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi emerged from a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday to describe a bizarre encounter with the nation's commander-in-chief that resulted in her, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, cutting the scheduled talks short.
"What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown," Pelosi told reporters outside the White House.
BREAKING: After walking out of a meeting with Trump on Syria, Democrats say the president called Speaker Pelosi a "third-rate politician." Pelosi also said, "What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown."— 11th Hour (@11thHour) October 16, 2019
Learn more: https://t.co/WQuYjLw8zg#11MSNBC #11thHour pic.twitter.com/xhMKwiGST1
According to The Hill:
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The White House had invited leadership and top committee members of both parties and chambers of Congress to discuss Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.
That withdrawal paved the way for Turkey to initiate an onslaught against Syrian Kurdish forces that were instrumental in the U.S.-led fight against ISIS and has been widely criticized by lawmakers across the political spectrum.
As part of his apparent meltdown, Trump told the Democratic congressional leaders, according to Schumer, that "some of ISIS were communists and you would be happy with that."
The Democrats said even that comment didn't compel them to walk out, but they ultimately did after the president attacked Pelosi personally, calling her a "third-rate politician."
Pelosi also expressed disappointment that members of Congress have yet to be fully briefed on the Turkey-Syria situation and criticized Trump for cancelling an all-member briefing that was scheduled for Thursday.