The Kurdish reporter who drew worldwide attention last year after President Trump nicknamed him “Mr. Kurd” told Newsmax on Wednesday Trump has now “abandoned my people to their enemies.”
Rahid Rashidi of Kurdistan-TV spoke to us shortly after the president announced he was withdrawing U.S. troops who were formerly fighting alongside the Kurds against ISIS terrorists in Syria.
Hours after the president’s announcement, Turkey said it was launching a strike against the Kurds.
At a press conference in New York on September 26, 2018, President Trump won the hearts of Kurdish people by calling on Rashidi as “Mr. Kurd.”
“By recognizing me and honoring me with a nickname, he was recognizing the identity of the Kurdish people,” Rashidi recalled with emotion. “In effect, he was giving me and my people help against our enemies such as [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan.”
In replying to his new friend, the president went on to move Kurds worldwide by describing them as “great people [who] fought with us, they died for us and with us.”
“And I don’t forget,” he added. “We’re trying to help them a lot.”
At the time, a proud Rashidi was widely interviewed as “Mr. Kurd” and even changed his Twitter-handle to his newly bestowed nickname.
Now, he feels differently about the president who gave it to him.
“The Kurds were betrayed by the U.S. after being among their best allies in the Middle East,” Rashidi told us, adding that the president’s sudden decision “has got to be shaking friendships the U.S. has in the area, such the United Emirates and, yes, Israel.”
Rashidi believes that the latest move by Trump “could push loyal allies to [Syrian President Bashir] Assad or [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
He also noted that the Kurds have historically been known not only to stand by Americans in the Middle East but to always try to protect persecuted minorities such as Christians.
The president, he warned, “will pay a big price for what he has done.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
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