Trump ‘Shocked’ Turkey’s Erdogan, John Bolton With Snap Decision to Exit Syria: Report

Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria was made quickly, without consulting his national-security team or allies, the Associated Press reported. The president reportedly agreed to the hasty pullout during a phone call last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, shocking National Security Adviser John Bolton, who vehemently objected to the decision—and Erdogan himself. The Wednesday announcement stunned the world and prompted Thursday’s resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis. According to the report, Mattis, Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later scrambled to find a middle path, but were informed by Chief of Staff John Kelly and his acting successor Mick Mulvaney that the president’s call for the pullout would not be “delayed or denied.” Russian state-controlled television reacted differently, calling the announcement “a total dream come true.”