News by VICE

Trump Doesn't Seem Super Clear on What an ‘Ally’ Is

VIDEO: How Trump talks about America's allies.

by Oliver Noble
Oct 10 2019, 3:45pm

After nearly three years in the Oval Office, President Trump still doesn’t seem super clear on what it means to be an ally of the U.S.

That’s a big problem for Syria’s Kurds, who fought alongside U.S. troops for years in the battle against ISIS but were abandoned when Trump withdrew U.S. forces from northeastern Syria earlier this week.

As Turkey launched an air and ground invasion of the region Wednesday, threatening both Kurdish forces and civilians, Trump appeared to question whether the Kurds were ever our allies to begin with.

“They didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy, for example,” he said. Rather, Trump said, the Kurds battled alongside the U.S. for “their land,” and “that’s a different thing.”

But this is only the latest example of Trump throwing an ally under the bus. In many public appearances, he has dismissed the idea of honoring long-term friendships, at times mocking officials who complain about that.

Like at a Pennsylvania rally in 2018, where he mimicked a military general saying: “'SIR, they are an ALLY. We must protect them.' And I say, General, I like 'em too. But they gotta pay. "

“They’re a long way away!”

Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an executive order signing event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Trump warned President Recep Tayyip Erdoan not to take aggressive action in Northern Syria. Photographer: Alex Edelman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

trump talks