The State Department is pushing back against former ISIS coalition diplomat Brett McGurk’s claim that he decided to leave his position ‘on principle’ over POTUS Donald Trump’s decision to pull all U.S. forces out of Syria within a few months.
“The recent decision by the president came as a shock and was a complete reversal of policy that was articulated to us,” McGurk wrote in an email to colleagues, according to The New York Times.
“I worked this week to help manage some of the fallout but — as many of you heard in my meetings and phone calls — I ultimately concluded that I could not carry out these new instructions and maintain my integrity,” he continued.
Not exactly, according to the State Department.
“[He] was scheduled to leave the State Department in April of this year, but, asked the secretary to stay on. His departure was rescheduled for the end of this year, so for him to account for his departure to principle is unfounded,” one official, speaking on anonymity, told the Washington Examiner.
Another source noted: “This guy should have been out on his ear back in April, and he was allowed to stay on because he basically needed the job.
“Now that he wants his speeches to collect $20,000 a pop instead of $2,000 a pop, he’s trying to use this on the way out the door. That’s what sucks about it.”
As for the job that POTUS Trump has done in Syria dealing with ISIS, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the effort on Friday.
“We’ve made the caliphate in Syria go away,” Pompeo told NPR. “The president made an enormous commitment to take down the caliphate and that has been achieved.”
In his final briefing to reporters before the president announced his decision to pull out the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops there, McGurk himself echoed the administration’s claim that ISIS was essentially decimated.
“Where we were when the Trump administration came in – in early 2016 . . . about 50 percent of the territory had been cleared,” McGurk told reporters. “So if you look at where we are today, I think it’s quite significant. We really are now down to the last 1 percent of the physical territory.”
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