‘They’re not angels’: Trump defends decision to abandon the Kurds

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to condemn his decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria.
3:18 | 10/16/19

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Transcript for ‘They’re not angels’: Trump defends decision to abandon the Kurds
explosive meeting late today at the white house. Democratic leaders suddenly walking out after what they say was president trump's meltdown. The president doubling down all day on his decision to suddenly pull U.S. Troops out of a key part of Syria a week and a half ago. Standing by that decision despite what's happened since to U.S. Allies, the kurds, who helped the U.S. Fight and secure those ISIS prisoners. The president saying today the kurds are no angels, saying "Their fight has nothing to do with us." And we see the letter the president wrote to the president of Turkey. Here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: Today at the white house, president trump defended his decision to abandon the kurds, further distancing himself from America's allies in the fight against ISIS. The kurds know how to fight, and as I said, they're not they're not angels, if you take a look. The yaya are 354. Reporter: But shortly after the president spoke, the house of representatives, Democrats and Republicans, overwhelmingly voted to condemn his decision to pull American troops from northern Syria. Later, congressional leaders went to the white house to discuss Syria, but Democrats say they were so offended by the way the president spoke, they walked out of the meeting. What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown. Sad to say. He was insulting, particularly to the speaker. She kept her cool completely. But he called her a third-rate politician. A nasty diatribe not focused on the facts. Particularly the fact of how to curtail ISIS, a terrorist organization that aims to hurt the United States in our homeland. Reporter: On Syria, Democrats and Republicans in congress are largely united in opposition to the president. He will have American blood on his hands if he abandons kurds, because ISIS will come back. Reporter: Lindsey graham just said of your remarks that you made in the oval office, that if you keep talking like that, quote, this will be a disaster worse than Obama's decision to leave Iraq. Lindsey graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers fighting other people's wars. Reporter: Tonight, Fox News obtained a short letter the president sent Turkish president erdogan. "Let's work out a good deal," he wrote. "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. History will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen. Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!" So, let's get right to Jon Karl. He's live at the white house and Jon, you're learning that president trump actually gave speaker Pelosi a copy of that letter at that meeting late Reporter: David, the president handed out several copies of the letter, according to a Republican member of congress that was there, the speaker took her copy and put it facedown on the table before reading it. The white house gives a much different version of what happened. They say that the president, quote, was measured, factual and decisive and that the speaker's decision to walk out was baffling. They also point out that other Democrats at the meeting stayed behind. Jon Karl tonight. Thank you. And all of this comes as the

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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