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Maria Bartiromo Grills Pompeo: Is ‘Pressure’ From Left and Media Causing Trump to Make Wrong Decisions?

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo grilled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Wednesday interview on whether “pressure” from the media and Democrats is pushing President Donald Trump into making erroneous decisions.

Bartiromo spent the majority of the interview pressing Pompeo on Trump’s recent move to pull out U.S. troops from northern Syria, which made room for Turkey to invade the region in an attempt to ethnically cleanse the Kurdish people from the region.

“You said that now twice — that you want to make sure ISIS doesn’t rise again, but even the Defense Secretary Mark Esper released a statement saying that the decision by Turkish President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan to invade northern Syria has resulted in widespread casualties, refugees, destruction, insecurity, a growing threat of U.S. military forces, and the invasion has resulted in the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees,” the Mornings with Maria Bartiromo host noted. “Are we actually seeing Kurds run away from jails they were guarding and ISIS detainees are now on the loose again?”

“No one disputes that the decision by the president of Turkey has created enormous risk in the region that is absolutely true,” the guest replied. “It is precisely the reason we are headed there today to try to take down that sets of risks most importantly for the United States, to ensure that work that has been done, to reduce the risk to the American people after all is our first foremost priority to reduce risk to American people it is fully addressed.”

Pompeo, along with Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, is helping lead a U.S. delegation to Turkey this week to negotiate with Erdogan.

Bartiromo went on to suggest that the president’s decision making might be tainted due to ongoing domestic controversies: “I am trying to understand better what is behind the president’s decision to pull these troops out. I know the president is under massive attack here domestically from the media, from the left — that has to be tough. Is there any reason to believe that that pressure is causing him to make the wrong decisions in our foreign policy?”

“I always go back to first principles — what’s the mission, what’s the objective,” the secretary of state responded, before insisting that focusing on the bloodshed in Syria ignores “how effective this administration has been” in conducting counterterrorism operations in other parts of the world.

Pompeo also told Fox Business that “the vice president and I are planning to take off later this afternoon” to meet with Erdogan.

“And we have every expectation that we will meet with President Erdogan. And it’s important, Maria, we need to have this conversation with him directly,” he added.

While the Turkish president initially said he would only meet with U.S. officials if Trump was present, he has since reversed that decision.

Watch above, via Fox Business.

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Caleb Ecarma is a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma