George Stephanopoulos Grills Pompeo Over Syria Negotiations: ‘The Turks Said They Got Everything They Wanted’


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was put under a lot of pressure on Sunday when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos grilled him on whether his negotiations with Turkey actually paid off.

Stephanopoulos spoke to Pompeo on This Week, asking him about how America’s Kurdish allies view the Trump administration’s handling of the Syria crisis as a “betrayal.” Pompeo diverted to argue that the Trump administration has been far more triumphant in the Middle East than the Obama administration, and he painted a rosy picture of the Syria situation by saying “there’s relatively little fighting, a little sporadic small arms fire, a mortar or two.”

Stephanopoulos stayed on target by invoking several of the president’s allies who’ve panned him throughout the withdrawal of troops from northern Syria. As Stephanopoulos raised concerns about a possible ISIS resurgence and how the fighting hasn’t really stopped in the region, he eventually asked Pompeo whether the agreement with Turkey will still cause a massive displacement of Kurds targeted by the Turkish military’s operations.

“Can you assure the Kurdish people and the president’s allies in Congress that you will not be party to ethnic cleansing?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“We were very clear and the vice president could not have been more clear when we were speaking with President Erdogan,” Pompeo said. “Go take a look at the statement that was released jointly. No fewer than three of the paragraphs were aimed squarely at ensuring that in this space, this Turkish controlled space…there wouldn’t be attacks on minorities, that this was about getting a ceasefire, a secure area, and that this, in fact, will save lives in that very space.”

“The Turks said they got everything that they wanted” Stephanopoulos responded.

“It sure didn’t feel that way when we were negotiating,” Pompeo said. “It was a hard fought negotiation…It lasted hours while we were there. We achieved the outcome that President Trump sent us to achieve.”

Watch above, via ABC.

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