Senate Democrat on Turkey sanctions: 'For God's sake, what are they waiting for?'

Senate Democrat on Turkey sanctions: 'For God's sake, what are they waiting for?'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenCongress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out Democrats fear Russia interference could spoil bid to retake Senate Mid-Atlantic states sue EPA over Chesapeake Bay pollution MORE (D-Md.) on Sunday blasted the Trump administration's delay in imposing sanctions against Turkey for its actions in northern Syria. 

“For God’s sake, what are they waiting for? People are being killed right now,” Hollen, who is co-sponsoring Turkish sanctions legislation with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), said on "Fox News Sunday."

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“Our Syrian Kurdish allies are being killed right now, it looks like many of the ISIS detainees are now possibly going to be able to escape …[The White House] looks ridiculous right now, so that’s why it’s important that the Congress move forward on this front,” Van Hollen told Fox’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power Trump mocks Biden for calling 'a lid' before 9 a.m. Trump claims Fox anchor Chris Wallace won't ask Biden 'tough questions' at debate MORE. “All [the Trump administration] is doing is talking while people are being killed.”

Van Hollen told that Wallace bipartisan support for action against Turkey, which moved troops into northern Syria after President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE announced the withdrawal of U.S. forces, exists among lawmakers.

“We believe momentum is building for the Congress to act since this president has shown a total unwillingness to do something in the face of this slaughter,” he said. “The key is to act quickly. When Congress wants to act quickly it can.”

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' Pelosi asks panels to draft new COVID-19 relief measure MORE, meanwhile, defended the pace of the White House’s response after Trump vowed swift action if Turkey treats Syrian Kurds, who helped the U.S. fight ISIS, inhumanely.

“Let me just say this is a complicated, developing situation. You have a NATO ally on one hand fighting against the Kurds who were helping us with the fight against ISIS,” Mnuchin told ABC’s Jon Karl on Sunday. “We are in daily communications with Turkey, both at the Defense Department, the State Department, on very specific issues. We are ready to go at a moment’s notice to put on sanctions.”

Trump also tweeted early Sunday about the push in Congress for action against Turkey.

“Treasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought. There is great consensus on this. Turkey has asked that it not be done. Stay tuned!” he said.