Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos MORE to rescind his White House invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan is scheduled to visit the White House on Wednesday. But the lawmakers expressed “deep concern” at the planned trip, citing Turkey's invasion of northern Syria.

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“President Erdogan’s decision to invade northern Syria on October 9 has had disastrous consequences for U.S. national security, has led to deep divisions in the NATO alliance, and caused a humanitarian crisis on the ground,” they wrote in a letter to Trump publicly released Monday.

“Given this situation, we believe that now is a particularly inappropriate time for President Erdogan to visit the United States, and we urge you to rescind this invitation,” the lawmakers added in the letter dated Nov. 8.

The letter was organized by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHouse lawmakers call on U.S. airlines to help repatriate Americans stranded abroad Hillicon Valley: Facebook reports huge spike in usage during pandemic | Democrats push for mail-in voting funds in coronavirus stimulus | Trump delays deadline to acquire REAL ID Lawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference MORE (D-N.Y.). Two of the co-signers are Republicans: Reps. Gus Bilirakis (Fla.) and Peter King (N.Y.), who announced his retirement earlier Monday.

The other co-signers are Democrats: Reps. Bill KeatingWilliam (Bill) Richard KeatingLawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference Lawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite MORE (Mass.), Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralObama presses for social distancing policies to remain in place Self-quarantined New York lawmaker: 'We should be in total lockdown' Activists, analysts demand Congress consider immigrants in coronavirus package MORE (N.Y.), Susan WildSusan WildDemocratic congresswomen wear white to Trump's address in honor of suffrage movement Democrats gear up for State of the Union protests as impeachment lingers Giffords gun reform group backs eight 'strong women' in House reelection bids MORE (Pa.), Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresLawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela Lawmakers request watchdog probe of Trump admin's ending of temporary protected status House passes resolution disapproving of Russia being included in future G7 summits MORE (N.J.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchOcasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response' Father of Parkland shooting victim calls on Congress to take action Florida 'red flag' law has removed hundreds of guns: report MORE (Fla.), Colin Allred (Texas), Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaModerate Democrat fends off liberal primary challenge in California  California Rep. Costa endorses Biden Group of House Democrats reportedly attended the White House ball MORE (Calif.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyOvernight Defense: 10,000 more National Guard troops to join coronavirus fight | Democrats float bill to restore Pentagon watchdog to virus oversight panel | Afghanistan releases 100 Taliban prisoners House Democrats propose bill to let sidelined Pentagon watchdog stay on coronavirus oversight panel OPM chief abruptly resigns MORE (Va.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinTop House Oversight Democrats ask DHS to reduce immigrant detainee population 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Senators urge Congress to include election funds in coronavirus stimulus MORE (Md.), Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanZoom, grocery delivery, self-isolation: How lawmakers are surviving coronavirus California Democrat wears face mask while presiding over House pro forma session Pelosi scrambles to secure quick passage of coronavirus aid MORE (Calif.), Juan VargasJuan C. VargasActivists, analysts demand Congress consider immigrants in coronavirus package Biden rolls out over a dozen congressional endorsements after latest primary wins The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence taps health official to aid coronavirus response MORE (Calif.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Dina TitusAlice (Dina) Costandina TitusLawmakers highlight flights back to DC for huge coronavirus vote Bipartisan lawmakers ask NIH for information on 'disturbing' studies on monkeys Biden picks up first endorsement from Iowa congressional delegation MORE (Nev.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar edits headline of New York Post article slamming the Squad: 'There, fixed it for you' Trump urges Sanders supporters to join GOP after senator suspends campaign Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill MORE (Minn.), who came under fire for voting present on a Armenian genocide resolution and voting against a Turkey sanctions bill.

Both the Armenian genocide resolution and the sanctions bill were fiercely opposed by Turkey but passed the House with large bipartisan majorities.

Lawmakers have been fuming since Trump announced in October he would withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, paving the way for Turkey’s long-threatened offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces.

In addition to the sanctions and Armenian genocide votes, the House passed a resolution opposing Trump’s withdrawal and calling on stop Turkey to “immediately cease unilateral military action” in northeast Syria.

“Turkish forces have killed civilians and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a critical U.S. partner in the fight against ISIS, and displaced over one hundred thousand people from their homes in northern Syria,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to Trump.

In addition to Erdoğan’s “calamitous actions” in Syria, the lawmakers cited a “long list of disconcerting steps” he has taken.

The letter listed Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, cooperation with Russia on the TurkStream gas pipeline and unauthorized gas drilling in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone.

The lawmakers also slammed Erdoğan’s “systematic rollback of democratic institutions in Turkey, concentrating all political power in his person, persecuting political opponents and peaceful protestors, and imprisoning journalists in shocking numbers.”

“His imprisonment of innocent American citizens and local staff from the U.S. Embassy is especially egregious,” they wrote.

Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said in an interview Sunday that Trump would confront Erdoğan about the S-400 purchase during the visit.

“We’re very upset about that,” O’Brien said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“There’s no place in NATO for significant Russian military purchases,” O’Brien added. “That’s a message that the president will deliver to him very clearly when he’s here in Washington.”

Under a law known as the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the administration is required to impose sanctions on those who do business with the Russian defense industry, but Trump has yet to levy sanctions on Turkey for the S-400.