President Donald Trump is well-known for veering off-script, contradicting allies on all sides, from military generals and cabinet officials to Republican members of Congress.
Lately, the contradictions have piled up so quickly it has been difficult to keep track.
Iowa Republicans will praise the president on one policy or another, only to have their words shortly undercut on the President’s Twitter feed or in a gaggle with reporters.
Here is a sampling of recent Iowa Republicans’ tweets or statements about Trump that were quickly proven wrong by the President himself in three recent situations in just this past month.
When the president and his surrogates come to Iowa, the ethanol industry and agriculture at-large is praised and promised to be protected. That rhetoric has proven especially true in 2019, as the state’s ethanol industry continues to suffer at the hands of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, which has granted an unprecedented number of waivers to oil refineries, allowing them to skirt biofuels blending requirements set forth in the Renewable Fuel Standard.
This month, the Trump Administration has come forward with multiple proposals promising to restore the billions of blended gallons lost as a result of the refinery exemptions. But the deal initially proposed was not what the EPA ended up on.
Despite Trump’s penchant for hyperbole and broken promises, Iowa Republicans were quick to praise the EPA’s proposals.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) October 4, 2019
gr8 news! W 2day’s announcement @realdonaldtrump delivers on his continued promise to support ethanol+ biodiesel + farmers THANK YOU Pres Trump for your support of rural America & following the renewable fuel standard as Congress intended Promises made& promises kept
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 4, 2019
Early reviews of @realdonaldtrump’s biofuel proposal are positive! Rural America says thanks, Mr. President! The RFS is the law, and we must ensure its volumes are protected. Eliminating sales barriers for E15 is an important component of this deal too. https://t.co/0rjLqjyj2z
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) October 4, 2019
A robust renewable fuel standard is critical to a healthy ag economy in IA & the nation, and I will never stop fighting for IA farmers. Thank you @POTUS for your willingness to listen, work with the renewable fuel industry, and commit to America's farmers! https://t.co/cnES8aECJO
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) October 4, 2019
A week and a half after these tweets were sent, the EPA announced they were going back on Trump’s promises. The ethanol industry was enraged, putting out many harsh statements and declaring there would be “no more Iowa nice” at a fiery press conference.
“Pretty much everyone I have talked that’s involved in agriculture and the biofuels industry have really lost trust,” one farmer said at a press conference.
‘Ceasefire’ in Syria
On Thursday, the President announced that Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had brokered a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdish people in Northern Syria.
Fighting began there last week after Trump said he would pull U.S. troops out of Syria, leaving American Kurdish allies to fend off an insurgent Turkish military.
When President Trump praised the “great day for civilization,” Republicans followed suit.
I congratulate @RealDonaldTrump on success in negotiating a cease fire in NE Syria. This agreement protects human life & religious minorities. Republicans need to stand with our Commander in Chief. https://t.co/cp2dvprDAp
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) October 17, 2019
King, representing Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, had just before went so far as to vote against a House resolution condemning the president’s decision to abandon America’s Kurdish allies.
The agreement reached between the Trump Administration and Turkey, however, calls only for a five-day halt in warfare, which appears to already have broken down.
Indeed, less than 24 hours after Trump touted the ceasefire, Turkey continued bombing and news articles came out where Turkish leaders mocked Trump’s team for essentially giving them everything they wanted.
When news of American troops’ removal from Syria broke, Ernst was critical:
The US has worked side-by-side with our Kurdish partners in the fight against ISIS; and with our withdrawal from the region, we’re abandoning a strategic partner, emboldening our adversaries—like Iran and Russia—and reversing course on our goal of maintaining peace and stability.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) October 15, 2019
But then quickly shifted course in light of the “ceasefire.”
.@VP & @SecPompeo’s strong efforts brokered a cease-fire agreement in northern Syria. This is good news. I’m hopeful this will lead to a permanent cease-fire & a renewed focus of international efforts to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.
— Joni Ernst (@SenJoniErnst) October 17, 2019
Like King, Ernst was quickly proven wrong.
When House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry Sept. 24 into President Trump, Republicans were quick to defend him.
Not surprised House Dems r trying to impeach Thats been their goal since inauguration day But w no formal process +no real investigating+ no inclusion of GOP/white house +no regard for history/precedent its hard to take them seriously
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 11, 2019
In a Sept. 24 statement, Sen. Joni Ernst said, “I’ve looked at the transcript; I don’t see anything there.”
However, Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s chief of staff, ended up publicly admitting on live TV that there was “something there” in that conversation, including a blatant quid pro quo on investigating Trump’s political rivals.
“I have news for everybody. Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy,” Mulvaney said when directly questioned by reporters whether aid was withheld over the investigation.
By Elizabeth Meyer