Pelosi, Schumer hit 'flailing' Trump over 'sham ceasefire' deal

Top congressional Democrats lashed out President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE for agreeing to drop recently announced sanctions against Turkey as part of a cease-fire agreement announced Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Battle heats up for House Foreign Affairs gavel Nearly one-third of US adults expect to lose employment income: Census Bureau MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) said Trump "is flailing" and that he agreed not to implement sanctions against Turkey for a "sham ceasefire."


"The President’s decision to reverse sanctions against Turkey for brutally attacking our Kurdish partners in exchange for a sham ceasefire seriously undermines the credibility of America’s foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted," the two added in a joint statement. 

Vice President Pence announced on Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed to halt Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria for 120 hours in order to allow Kurdish forces known as the YPG to evacuate. The agreement will also maintain a “permanent cease-fire” once the evacuation is complete.

In exchange, Trump will lift the sanctions on Turkey he imposed this week and not impose further sanctions, Pence said.

The announcement was the latest twist in a days-long political battle between Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Members in both parties fiercely criticized his decision earlier this month to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria, paving the way for the Turkish invasion. 

Schumer and Pelosi added on Thursday that Erdoğan had "given up nothing," while Trump "has given him everything."

"ISIS is still a threat, certainly now more than before President Trump gave Erdogan the green light to invade Syria," they said.  

"The only beneficiaries of the President’s policies are our adversaries: ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinPutin says doctors and teachers will get first COVID-19 vaccines in new immunization campaign Scarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump Will Biden choose a values-based or transactional foreign policy? MORE and Iran. Today’s decision further makes the argument that President Trump doesn’t see Putin as the danger he is to our country," they continued.  

News of the cease-fire was met with skepticism, and in some cases outright criticism, on Capitol Hill. 

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyMark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat Bipartisan, bicameral group unveils 8 billion coronavirus proposal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms MORE (R-Utah) ripped the administration in a floor speech, adding that the cease-fire was "far from a victory." 

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.), who introduced a sanctions bill with Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDespite veto threat, Congress presses ahead on defense bill GOP urges Trump not to tank defense bill over tech fight Republican frustration builds over Cabinet picks MORE (R-S.C.) earlier Thursday, pledged that they would continue to push for their bill. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Biden faces new Iran challenges after nuclear scientist killed New Jersey to halt indoor sports, cap outside gatherings MORE (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, added that "this essentially gives Erdoğan everything he wants."

"This isn't a diplomatic victory," he added. "It's the capstone on Trump's abandonment of the Kurds."