After President Donald Trump abruptly withdrew U.S. forces from Kurdish-held northern Syria last month, he hastily (and fruitlessly) penned a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warning the leader against sending Turkish troops into the region.
The language of that letter was so juvenile, many ― including senior White House correspondents ― assumed it was fake. It was not fake. And now, the very real letter is back in Trump’s possession.
Erdogan visited Trump at the White House on Wednesday, and at a joint press conference afterward he let slip that the letter had been “re-presented” to Trump that afternoon.
“We gave back the letter that we have received,” he emphasized in closing.
Assuming it’s the original copy, Turkish officials had to fish it out of the trash first before they could send it back. The letter was received so poorly Erdogan reportedly threw it away, according to the BBC.
“Dear Mr. President: Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy ― and I will,” the letter read.
It closed, “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.”
Erdogan authorized the Syrian invasion the same day he received the letter.