Trump accidentally refers to Defense Secretary Esper as 'Mark Esperanto' in tweet defending Syria withdrawal

Trump accidentally refers to Defense Secretary Esper as \
Trump accidentally refers to Defense Secretary Esper as \'Mark Esperanto\' in tweet defending Syria withdrawal  

President Donald Trump once again took to Twitter to defend his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria, opening the door to a Turkish assault on Kurds who had helped America combat the Islamic State, but in the process, he incorrectly identified his secretary of defense.

On Sunday, Trump quoted "Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense" as saying, "The ceasefire is holding up very nicely" aside from "some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly."

But the man the president put in charge of the Pentagon is named Mark Esper, not Esperanto. And many observers do not share Esper/Esperanto's certainty that the cease-fire the Trump administration helped broker between Turkey and the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces is holding up as well as he and other White House officials have implied.

Syria: Trump says Kurds are 'very happy' with U.S.-brokered deal and U.S. has 'taken control' of oil

Blumenthal: Turkish offensive against Kurds in Syria 'on the cusp of genocide'

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News on Sunday that his "senior leaders" had just informed him that "there is relatively little fighting" consisting of "little sporadic small arms fire and a mortar or two."

And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emphatically denied his forces were not abiding by the agreement, which Turkey has characterized as a "pause."

"I don't know where you're getting your news from. According to the news I received from my defense minister, there is no question of clashes," he told reporters in Istanbul on Friday, according to Turkey's official Anadolu news agency. "These are all speculation, disinformation,"

But SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said that "despite the agreement to halt the fighting, air and artillery attacks" and that "Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night."

On Friday, a U.S. official who is not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY that the cease-fire is not holding, and predicted it would cause more confusion and deaths among the Kurds.

The SDF announced Sunday that their fighters had finished evacuating the northern town of Ras al-Ayn as they had agreed to do under terms of the cease-fire.

"Bringing soldiers home," Trump said at the end of his tweet. And he has stressed the need to bring the troops home as one his rationales for pulling them out Syria.

But Esper told reporters traveling with him to the Middle East that all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq. He said they will continue to conduct operations from there against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence.

Trump's declaration that "We have secured the oil," is likely a reference to oil fields in eastern Syria that had been under Kurdish control before the Turkish military incursion. It was not immediately clear how the oil had been secured as Iran, Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad scramble to fill the power vacuum left by the U.S. withdrawal.

Trump has fought to justify the move amid a surge of bipartisan opposition in Congress. Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has been one Trump's staunchest supporters, has condemned what he considers an "impulsive" move that left "a stain on America's honor" by abandoning a U.S. ally.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned the pullout as a "strategic nightmare for our country."

"Even if the five-day cease-fire announced Thursday holds, events of the past week have set back the United States' campaign against the Islamic State and other terrorists," McConnell wrote.

Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen, Tom Vanden Brook, Kim Hjelmgaard and David Jackson, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Mark Esperanto': Trump tweet gets defense secretary's name wrong


More Related News

Trump berated a black journalist, telling her to
Trump berated a black journalist, telling her to 'be nice' and not 'threatening' at a coronavirus briefing, but she refused to take the bait

"I was quoting you directly from your interview with Sean Hannity," PBS' Yamiche Alcindor told Trump when he accused her of being "threatening."

A Single Gesture Behind Trump Fuels an Online Conspiracy Theory
A Single Gesture Behind Trump Fuels an Online Conspiracy Theory

At a White House briefing on the coronavirus March 20, President Donald Trump called the State Department the "Deep State Department." Behind him, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dropped his head and rubbed his forehead.Some thought

Coronavirus: Trump
Coronavirus: Trump 'considering quarantine on New York'

The president says he is considering quarantining the state, but its governor expresses concern.

Trump signs $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus package and orders production of ventilators
Trump signs $2-trillion coronavirus stimulus package and orders production of ventilators

House members overrode a Republican's objection to approve the coronavirus relief package, sending it to President Trump, who signed it Friday.

Trump Says He Told Pence to Ignore Governors in Hard-Hit Areas If They Are
Trump Says He Told Pence to Ignore Governors in Hard-Hit Areas If They Are 'Not Appreciative'

Shortly after the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic reached 1,500 on Friday, President Donald Trump took to the podium at a White House press briefing and complained that certain state's governors  are not "appreciative" enough of the federal government's help-so much so that he said he'd told Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the coronavirus task force, to skip calling governors of some hard-hit areas.  Trump singled out the Democratic leaders of Washington and Michigan, noting that he had advised Pence not to call them as the healthcare crisis plagues their states and people fall sick and die. "He calls all the governors," Trump said. "I tell him, I mean, I'm a...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • IDN Poker
    (2019-10-22 17:58:23Z)

    Kronospoker Situs Judi Online,IDN Poker serta Agen Poker Terpercaya Indonesia untuk permainan Poker Online, Domino Qiu Qiu, Ceme Keliling, Capsa Susun dan Super10.

  • HelenPlbi
    (2019-11-08 15:13:03Z) - generic drug prescriptions discounts canada canadian pharmacy free viagra


Top News: Latin America