Pompeo insists US didn't give Turkey 'green light' to invade

Pompeo insists US didn't give Turkey 'green light' to invade
© Aaron Schwartz

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump hotel cancels Christian aid group's event to support the Kurds: report Pence on Syria: 'Our troops are coming home' House calls on Russia to release Paul Whelan or else provide evidence of wrongdoing MORE said the U.S. "didn't give Turkey a green light" to invade Syria and attack Kurdish forces in an interview Wednesday.

"Yeah, well that's just false," Pompeo said in the interview with PBS NewsHour. "The United States didn't give Turkey a green light."

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Pompeo deflected questions regarding whether the U.S. should take responsibility for the results of the Turkish attacks, including if civilians are killed or if ISIS reemerges.

"We're going to work to make sure that ISIS doesn't have the Caliphate that extends across a broad swath of Syria and Iraq, which is the place that we found ourselves when the President took office," he said.

Pompeo maintained that the administration completed the mission of defeating ISIS, and American troops were in danger staying in Syria. He added that he's "confident President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE understands the threat."

"We'll continue to be in a position to do what we need to do to keep the American people as safe as we possibly can from this threat, but it is not only in Syria," he said. "It emanates from Iraq; there are a dozen other countries where the threat from radical Islamic terrorism continues to exist, and we, the United States, has to make sure we position our forces, our resources appropriately to reduce that threat to the United States."

Several politicians on both sides of the aisle are criticizing the president for his decision to remove troops from Syria, saying Trump has effectively abandoned a U.S. ally in the Kurds.

Trump has defended his decision, saying ISIS has been defeated and that if Turkey steps out of bounds he will "destroy" the country's economy.