Retiring Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, who not only signed the infamous “Never Trump” letter while President Donald Trump was a candidate in 2016 but also gives foreign policy advice to Joe Biden, has admitted his team lied about the number of troops in Syria to thwart the president’s agenda.
In an interview with Defense One, Jeffrey said his team regularly mislead the Trump administration about the number of troops in Syria.
“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey told the outlet.
Jeffrey called Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria in 2018 “the most controversial thing in my fifty years in government,” even though former President Barack Obama withdrew troops from the Middle East as well, leading to the formation of ISIS. After the withdrawal, Defense One reported, Jeffrey became the “special envoy in the counter-ISIS fight.”
As Jeffrey said, even though Trump announced a Syria withdrawal, because he and his team lied about the number of troops in the region, many remained to fight ISIS.
“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey told Defense One. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.”
Even as Jeffrey admitted to lying to the Trump administration, he said he has told Biden, whom the media has declared the winner of the 2020 election (Trump still has litigation in multiple states to fight the results), to continue Trump’s foreign policy lead in the Middle East.
That lead has led to multiple countries normalizing ties with Israel, something largely ignored by the mainstream media but a significant accomplishment.
“Jeffrey now says that Trump’s ‘modest’ and transactional approach to the Middle East has yielded a more stable region than either of his predecessors’ more transformational policies. President George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech heralding the seismic U.S. intervention into Iraq and President Barack Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo proclaiming a ‘new beginning’ with the Muslim world represent an approach to the Middle East that ‘made things worse’ and ‘weakened us,’ Jeffrey said. Trump’s administration, he said, has looked at the Middle East through a geostrategic lens and kept its focus on Iran, Russia, and China, while keeping the metastatic ‘disease’ of Islamist terror in check,” Defense One reported. “Jeffrey believes Trump has achieved a kind of political and military ‘stalemate’ in a number of different cold and hot conflicts, producing a situation that is about the best any administration could hope for in such a messy, volatile region.”
Should Biden continue Trump’s foreign policy approach, expect widespread cheering from the media.
The Washington Post’s Beirut bureau chief, Liz Sly, shared the Defense One article highlighting the fact that Jeffrey lied to Trump “and the American people” and adding crying laughing emojis.
US officials have been lying to Trump – and the American people – about the true number of US troops in Syria in order to deter him from withdrawing them, according to the outgoing Syria envoy. Trump thinks it’s 200 😂😂. By @KatieBoWill https://t.co/P6W9s3Qwvs
— Liz Sly (@LizSly) November 13, 2020
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