Yes, it’s real.
A frantic, unhinged, “no way it’s real” letter from President Donald Trump to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is authentic, the White House confirmed to TPM Wednesday.
Dated three days after Trump essentially gave Turkey a green light to invade Northern Syria, the tone in Trump’s Oct. 9 message to Erdogan sounded a lot different than the formal announcement a few days earlier.
“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Trump pleaded with Erdogan. “I will call you later.”
The letter came the same day that Turkey began its invasion of Northern Syria. Fox Business Network’s Trish Regan first obtained the document.
“Let’s work out a deal!” Trump wrote to Erdogan. “You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy—and I will.”
The unusual tone continues, with Trump urging Erdogan, “Don’t let the world down. You can make a great deal.”
Near the end of the note, Trump tells the Turkish president: “History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.”
The Kurds have long been the United States’ partner in the fight against the Islamic State, and Trump has faced bipartisan outrage for what some have characterized as a “betrayal” of the ethnic group. The House voted 354-60 to condemn the withdrawal on Wednesday, including 129 Republicans.
Critics also worry that the quick U.S. withdrawal could endanger the gains made against the Islamic State; hundreds of IS prisoners have reportedly escaped from detention amid the chaos. Trump hiked tariffs on Turkish steel imports Monday, among other potential measures, but Erdogan has thus far rejected calls for a ceasefire. Meanwhile, Russian and Syrian forces have filled the void.
Read the full letter below, via Trish Regan:
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained a copy of @realDonaldTrump’s letter to #Erdogan. @POTUS warns him to not “be a tough guy! Don’t be a fool!” Says he could destroy Turkey’s economy if #Syria is not resolved in a humane way. Details tonight at 8pm #TrishRegan #FoxBusiness pic.twitter.com/9BoSGlbRyt
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) October 16, 2019