- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Kremlin commented Thursday about the peculiarly worded letter President Trump sent recently to Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling it “highly unusual.”

Dmitry Peskov, a top spokesman and aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, questioned Mr. Trump’s tone while discussing the letter during a conference call with reporters.

“You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state. It’s a highly unusual letter,” Mr. Peskov said, Reuters reported.

Released Wednesday and dated Oct. 9, Mr. Trump sent the letter amid concerns about Turkish forces invading northern Syria on the heels of him ordering the sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region.

“Let’s work out a good deal!” Mr. Trump wrote in the letter to Mr. Erdogan. “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.”

“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Mr. Trump told the president of Turkey. “I will call you later.”

The letter’s release came the same day members of the House of Representatives voted 354-60 to condemn Mr. Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria.

It was first published Wednesday by Fox News and later verified as legitimate by the White House.

“I actually thought it was a prank, a joke, that it couldn’t possibly come from the Oval Office,” Rep. Mike Quigley, Illinois Democrat, said to CNN after the letter’s release. “It sounds all the world like the president of the United States, in some sort of momentary lapse, just dictated angrily whatever was on the top of his head.”

BBC reported Thursday that the Turkish leader tossed Mr. Trump’s letter in the trash after reviewing it, meanwhile.

“President Erdogan received the letter, thoroughly rejected it and put it in the bin,” the outlet reported, citing unnamed Turkish presidential sources.

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