Donald Trump Explains His Syria Policy

"Sacre bleu, what is this moron saying now? Please, not more about the crates of cash. OMG. Now it's barrels of cash. Nobody ever told me Trump was going to be part of this job."Christy Bowe/Globe Photos via ZUMA

Over lunch I was chatting with a friend and we were wondering what Donald Trump really wants to do about Syria. Does he want to get out? If so, why hire guys like John Bolton, who’d probably like to send a million troops over?

It’s a mystery. That is, it was a mystery. Today Trump cleared everything up. We’re getting out:

As far as Syria is concerned, I would love to get out. I’d love to bring our incredible warriors back home. They’ve done a great job. We’ve essentially just absolutely obliterated ISIS in Iraq and in Syria. And we’ve done a big favor to neighboring countries, frankly, but we’ve also done a favor for our country.

But wait. Maybe we need to stay after all:

With that being said, Emmanuel and myself have discussed the fact that we don’t want to give Iran open season to the Mediterranean, especially since we really control it. To a large extent, we really have controlled it and we’ve set control on it. So we’ll see what happens.

No no no. Just kidding. We’re getting out:

But we’re going to be coming home relatively soon. We finished, at least, almost our work with respect to ISIS in Syria, ISIS in Iraq, and we have done a job that nobody has been able to do. But with that being said, I do want to come home.

Although first we have to accomplish some things:

But I want to come home also with having accomplished what we have to accomplish. So we are discussing Syria as part of an overall deal. When they made the Iran deal, what they should have done is included Syria.

And now a brief interruption from our lizard brain:

When I say “should have” — before giving them, Iran, $150 billion and $1.8 billion in cash — $1.8 million in cash. You think about this. Before giving this kind of tremendous money, okay — $150 billion and $1.8 billion in cash — in barrels, I hear, it was taken out, and in boxes it was taken out — cash — they should have made a deal that covered Yemen, that covered Syria, that covered other parts of the Middle East where Iraq is — where Iran is involved. They didn’t do that.

But back to the topic at hand. We’re getting out. Honest:

So we want to come home. We’ll be coming home.

Or maybe not:

But we want to have a very, very strong — we want to leave a strong and lasting footprint, and that was a very big part of our discussion. Okay? Thank you.

So…we’re coming home but not before we leave a strong and lasting footprint. Roger that.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.