Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 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 EngelUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency Democrats subpoena top aides to Pompeo Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements 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 KeatingOvernight Defense: National Guard chief negative in third coronavirus test | Pentagon IG probing Navy's coronavirus response | Democrats blast use of Russia deterrence funds on border wall Democrats blast 'blatant misuse' of Russia deterrence funding on border wall Lawmakers urge EU to sanction Putin associate for election interference MORE (Mass.), Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden's latest plan on racial inequality Moped sharing company suspends operations in New York after second rider's death Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs MORE (N.Y.), Susan WildSusan WildThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, GOP on defense as nationwide protests continue Republican Lisa Scheller wins primary to take on Pennsylvania Rep. Susan Wild Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries MORE (Pa.), Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresWe can't lose sight of Ortega's abuses in Nicaragua Hispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell wins Democratic primary MORE (N.J.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse votes to sanction Schweikert over ethics violations House Ethics panel recommends ,000 fine for Rep. Schweikert's campaign finance violations Florida county official apologizes for social media post invoking Hitler  MORE (Fla.), Colin Allred (Texas), Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaHispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Black Caucus rallies behind Meeks for Foreign Affairs gavel Let's support and ensure the safety of workers risking so much for us MORE (Calif.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyUSAID appointee alleges 'rampant anti-Christian sentiment' at agency House committee requests hearing with postmaster general amid mail-in voting concerns GOP coronavirus bill includes .75 billion for construction of new FBI building MORE (Va.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinFive takeaways from Fauci's testimony GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs MORE (Md.), Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanSherman joins race for House Foreign Affairs gavel Castro launches bid for House Foreign Affairs gavel The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump, GOP senators at odds over next stimulus bill MORE (Calif.), Juan VargasJuan C. VargasHispanic Caucus requests meeting with private detention center CEOs Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president Activists, analysts demand Congress consider immigrants in coronavirus package MORE (Calif.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Dina TitusAlice (Dina) Costandina TitusOvernight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing Federal employees push for COVID-19 protections in 'dangerous' workplaces MORE (Nev.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump campaign rolls out TV spots in early voting states after advertising pause Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' 'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib faces strong primary challenger 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.