President Donald Trump made a startling statement Friday afternoon while boasting about how he believes he handled his widely-condemned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Northern Syria – a move that had opened the gate to ethnic cleansing of America’s now-former allies, the Kurds.
“We’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we’re talking about, the oil that everybody was worried about. We have the U.S. control of that,” Trump said, minutes after concluding a talk with the first two women astronauts to participate in an all-women spacewalk.
Trump went on to claim “there are no shots being fired, and a lot of people are doing a lot of things,” despite the supposed “ceasefire” that lasted less than 24 hours.
“This is a deal that should been made 15 years, 10 ago, over the last number of years under the Obama administration. The real numbers is over one million people were killed,” Trump said, doubling his claim from earlier this week. “We have lost no, not a drop of blood since we’ve started, what I’ve started, and it was, so far it’s working out.”
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale was among the first to report on Trump’s stunning claim.
Trump in fact made a similar statement on Twitter that went largely unnoticed just a few hours ago:
…..this thinking years ago. Instead, it was always held together with very weak bandaids, & in an artificial manner. There is good will on both sides & a really good chance for success. The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2019
Reporters are expressing confusion over what the president meant:
"We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East," says @POTUS (who didn't respond to subsequent questions from me and other pool reporters to elaborate on what he means by that).
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) October 18, 2019
I'm usually pretty good at figuring out what Trump might be referring to in public remarks, but right now I'm having trouble reverse-engineering "we've taken control of the oil in the Middle East"
— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) October 18, 2019
Trump this afternoon: "We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we're talking about, the oil that everybody was worried about. We have — the US has control of that." (?)
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 18, 2019
Trump: "We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East."
Not really sure to what he is referring, but he referenced taking control of oil in his tweet earlier today as well.
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) October 18, 2019