As if it weren’t embarrassing enough that new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper wasn’t Donald Trump’s first choice, it appears the two are no where near the same page based on what Esper announced this weekend regarding U.S. troops being pulled from Syria.
According to Trump, the troops were being pulled because he wanted to bring them home and bring them home now. However, per NBC News, Esper told reporters that the U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria “will take weeks, not days,” and that the mission for those troops would be to “help defend Iraq” and carry out a counter-ISIS mission.
Clearly, Donald Trump realized the error of his ways, and on Sunday morning, he posted the following tweet in an attempt at controlling the narrative:
Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, “The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with the Kurds.” USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the oil. Bringing soldiers home!
As you can see, the first glaring mistake is that Trump referred to Esper as “Mark Esperanto.” However, the bigger mistake was revealed later on when he attempted to delete the tweet and try it again. In doing so, he corrected the Secretary of Defense’s name, but changed the presentation of the quote around entirely:
“The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with Kurds. U.S. soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zone. We have secured the Oil.” Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense. Ending endless wars!
Although the sentences captured within the tweets are consistent with one another, your presentation and use of the quotation marks from one to the other make all the difference. So, which is it, Mr. President? Are these words yours, Mr. Esper’s…or Mr. Esperanto’s?