Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is asking President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 leaders: Trump administration asking South Korea to pay more for US troops 'a needless wedge' Trump administration releases 5M in military aid for Lebanon after months-long delay Two budget staffers resigned after voicing concerns about halted Ukraine aid, official says 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 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 Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (Mass.), Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralDemocrats vow court victories won't slow impeachment timeline 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 Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (N.Y.), Susan WildSusan WildOvernight Health Care: Democratic group to only endorse AG candidates who back abortion rights | Protect Our Care launches seven-figure ad buy to boost vulnerable Dems | California sues Juul Group launches seven-figure ad buy boosting vulnerable Democrats on drug prices 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 (Pa.), Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresHouse passes resolution disapproving of Russia being included in future G7 summits House to vote on resolution opposing Russia's inclusion in G-7 Lawmakers spar over surveillance flight treaty with Russia MORE (N.J.), Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchBipartisan lawmakers introduce amendment affirming US commitment to military aid to Israel Ethics sends memo to lawmakers on SCIF etiquette Pelosi signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime MORE (Fla.), Colin Allred (Texas), Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaChina, US officials: 'Phase one' trade deal could slide into next year Fresno congressman calls for Senate to take up gun legislation after deadly mass shooting at football party 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 (Calif.), Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDemocrats debate scope of impeachment charges House Democrats rebuke State Department for 'reversal' on Israeli settlements Maloney wins House Oversight gavel MORE (Va.), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinLawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers Five questions looming over impeachment MORE (Md.), Brad ShermanBradley (Brad) James ShermanOn The Money: House passes monthlong stopgap | Broader spending talks stall | Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns | Progressives ramp up attacks on private equity Progressive Democrats ramp up attacks on private equity 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 (Calif.), Juan VargasJuan C. VargasLawmakers visit African migrants at US-Mexico border 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 Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (Calif.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Dina TitusAlice (Dina) Costandina TitusTop Latina adviser quits Biden campaign Nevada congresswoman endorses Biden in 2020 race House Democrat slams Trump: 'I'd like to impeach the bastard right now' MORE (Nev.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAl Green calls for including Trump's 'racism' in impeachment articles Republicans disavow GOP candidate who said 'we should hang' Omar Hillicon Valley: Trump officials propose retaliatory tariffs over French digital tax | FBI classifies FaceApp as threat | Twitter revamps policies to comply with privacy laws | Zuckerberg defends political ads policy 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.