It appears impossible for the U.S. government to ever fully reverse the consequences of Trump’s abrupt decision: a bloody Turkish incursion that freed hundreds of Islamic State terrorists, a deal between the Kurds and the Syrian government long opposed by the U.S., and a rise in Russian and Iranian influence in the region. But the White House is going all-out to win over Republicans, with the president hosting lawmakers from both parties at the White House on Wednesday and scheduling an all-senators briefing for later in the week.
When Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with House Republicans on Tuesday he explained the administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria’s northern border, according to Republicans who were present. Esper told lawmakers that Trump received a phone call from Turkey’s president that they were going to move ahead with their planned military offensive in “48 hours,” leaving the United States with few options.
But Esper struggled to answer some questions from members — including one about what the administration is doing to prevent the resurgence of ISIS — leaving a group of Republicans dissatisfied, according to a source familiar with the meeting.