Was Donald Trump blackmailed into pulling U.S. troops out of Syria by Turkish President Erdoğan?

I don’t generally pass along news items that I can’t verify, but the U.S. outlet of the conservative British political publican The Spectator just posted a story alleging that Donald Trump was essentially blackmailed into pulling U.S. troops out of Syria by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who apparently threatened to release a recording of an intercepted call between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud (MBS) and Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and de facto Chief of Staff. According to The Spectator, Kushner, during this call, assured his friend, MBS, that the Saudis would not face retribution from the Trump administration for arresting Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And, of course, as we now know, Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, was not only detained by the Saudis, but murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

My first inclination is to say that there’s no way in the world that this could possibly be true, but, when you stop to think about it, it would explain Trump’s seemingly nonsensical decision to abandon the Kurds against the advice of every one of his military and foreign policy advisors. At any rate, it’s something to think about… And god help Trump and Kushner if it turns out to be true.

Here’s an excerpt from the story in The Spectator.

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  1. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 3, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Aloha MM, Of course the story is true. But please get over your misinformation. We are not pulling our troops out of Syria. Trump is to weak to follow through on any foreign policy position. You surely have followed the news about how we are staying to get the Syrian oil. Turkey is our NATO ally. It has been our ally in our regime change efforts in Syria. Does anyone really believe that our nation gives a shit about the Kurds? So of course we are going to let the Turks reign in those YPG terroist (they are secularist and we want a Wahhabi middle east). We have only led them to their deaths repeatedly. Since this is at least the third time, I expect they have learned their lesson.

    Tulsi is the only candidate who is courageous enough to stop this insanity.

    But hey, we got to fight the ruskies. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are two of our biggest allies. Get with the program. Onward with more war.

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    DD– Syrian oil reserves are limited and so of little interest to the US, except that in the hands of ISIS they could re-energize (literally) the califat. This has happened before. Trump said it stupidly and everyone jumped on. I’m not denying that both Bush’s started wars in the Middle East for oil or that our interests there for decades was primarily about oil, but there is very little money to be made from oil now in war zones, at least from the US perspective.

    I don’t know if this is true, but if so and revealed, the whole house will come down.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink


  4. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, Don’t worry be happy, we have plenty of time to break our addiction to fossil fuels.


  5. iRobert
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    If the story is true, it would be very deeply troubling.

  6. iRobert
    Posted November 4, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Has Q said anything about this?

  7. Posted November 5, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Wesley Clark was saying this last December.

    From Newsweek (12/24/2018):


  8. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 5, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Aloha, Wes Clark is no idiot, but he has been an extreme outlier in US strategic thinking ever since Bill Clinton turned him into a war criminal over Kosovo. Most folks don’t remember that last European war–the one where without provocation we used NATO to reduce Serbia to rubble. Of course the good liberals say we did that over humanitarian concerns to help the Albanians–a country controlled by a gangsters government that finances itself with drug sales and the sale of illegally obtained human organs. And of course Kosovo has pretty effectively ethnically cleansed itself of its Serb population.
    Remember never look back to see the results of your actions, always barrel forward regardless of the consequences.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted November 5, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Did MBS go o Harvard with Kushner and Mayor Pete and Mark Zuckerberg or something?

    I have still not seen proof that my theory that Kushner is a foreign asset is incorrect. If I were HW, this would be further proof that my conspiracy theory is true. Go ahead, HW and prove me wrong. I will win every time! Eventually the scales will fall from your eyes and the truth will be revealed!

  10. Darren
    Posted November 9, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I can believe it, made everyone on security counsel say WTF? the call to trump from Erdogan to pull out was on friday and troops pulled out monday and the world said WTF? and nothing made sense to bringing troops home? Kushner ties to that “phone call” would be interesting to hear and, if there is a similar call to Trump from Erdogan that was recorded. I think he’s FK’d with everything else.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    We are still in Syria with no departure date set. No doubt Trump will lie on the campaign trail about this;


  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 27, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    “If I were HW, this would be further proof that my conspiracy theory is true.”

    Only problem is I don’t do that. I would say the true thing: the claim has not yet been disproven. You will not find a case where I said something equivalent to what you say.

  13. ChibiHoshi
    Posted November 29, 2019 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    Given that The Spectator USA has a better fact check record over even CNN and MSNBC…..
    THAT should make one think even harder.

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