Sunday, October 13, 2019

Louisiana Governor Race Goes To Runoff

Republicans are claiming victory in Lousiana after Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards failed to win more than 50 percent of the vote and avoid a runoff in his re-election campaign.

Edwards, a conservative, pro-life Democrat who signed Lousiana’s heartbeat bill earlier this year, won 46.6 percent of the vote in the multiparty primary. Edwards faced a total of five other candidates in the primary.
Republican Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman, finished second with 27.4 percent of the vote. Edwards and Rispone will face off in the general election on Nov. 16.
Republicans are encouraged because Ralph Abraham, another Republican, finished third with 23.6 percent. The combined total for the two Republicans was 51 percent of the vote, which means that, if Republicans can manage to turn out their voters again next month, they may be able to eke out a victory against Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the South. The three other candidates in the race, another Republican, another Democrat, and an independent, each garnered less than one percent of the vote.
The national Republican Party staged a large push late in the campaign against Edwards. The effort included a rally by President Trump in Lake Charles on the night before the election.
Forcing a runoff does not mean that the Republicans are assured of victory, however. In the 2015 election, Edwards again won a plurality in the primary in which three Republican candidates split a total of 57 percent of the vote. In the runoff, Edwards beat Republican David Vitter by 56 – 44 percent.

Trump Cuts And Runs

A week after President Trump ordered US troops in northern Syria to pull back and allow Turkish forces to attack America’s Kurdish allies, the president has now ordered the approximately 1,000 American soldiers in the region to leave northern Syria altogether.  The president’s decision to cut and run comes after numerous reports of Turkish atrocities against Kurdish fighters and civilians, the escape of hundreds of ISIS prisoners detained by the Kurds, and a Turkish artillery strike near a US Special Forces camp that was apparently targeted intentionally to intimidate the president.

On “Face The Nation” today, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “We have American forces likely caught between two opposing, advancing armies and it's a very untenable situation. I spoke with the President last night, after discussions with the rest of the national security team, and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria, which is where most of our forces are.”

Esper also said that reports that the Kurds were making a deal with the Russians were a factor in the president’s decision. Yesterday, CNN reported that Kurdish leaders were reacting to their abandonment by the United States by seeking protection from Russia.

"You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered," Kurdish Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi told Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, William Roebuck, on Thursday. "You are not willing to protect the people, but you do not want another force to come and protect us. You have sold us. This is immoral.”

"I need to know if you are capable of protecting my people, of stopping these bombs falling on us or not. I need to know, because if you're not, I need to make a deal with Russia and the regime now and invite their planes to protect this region," Mazloum said.

Esper and other members of the Trump Administration say that the US has not abandoned the Kurds and that Turkey would have invaded even without Mr. Trump’s retreat earlier this week.

"We are not abandoning our Kurdish partner forces and US troops remain with them in other parts of Syria," Esper told reporters at the Pentagon. "We remain in close coordination with the Syrian Democratic Forces who helped us destroy the physical caliphate of ISIS, but I will not place American service members in the middle of a longstanding conflict between the Turks and the Kurds, this is not why we are in Syria.” A week ago, there was no conflict between the Turks and Kurds in Syria.

President Trump tweeted this morning that the Administration was working with Congress to implement sanctions on Turkey, but the president has not made ending the war that his actions started a high priority. Mr. Trump played golf on both Saturday and Sunday.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) tweeted on Sunday that the Trump Administration had not contacted him nor had he been notified of a congressional briefing regarding the “the unfolding events in Syria / Turkey / Saudi Arabia.”

Roy’s mention of Saudi Arabia refers to President Trump’s stated intention to deploy American forces to the Middle Eastern kingdom to help defend against another Iranian attack. At about the same time that the president was defending his abandonment of the Kurds in Syria by tweeting “The Endless Wars Must End,” he was also authorizing American entry into the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran with an additional 3,000 troops, more than twice as many as were deployed to Syria.

It isn’t clear why the president felt the need to abruptly remove American forces from the Syrian frontier, but it is clear that a situation that was stable and relatively peaceful last week has quickly become another “endless war.” It was not the deployment of American soldiers that caused the fighting to erupt in northern Syria, it was Trump’s decision to remove them.

While American soldiers in Syria kept the peace between Turkey and the Kurds, that was not their primary mission. The Americans were there to destroy ISIS. So, how is that going? Not too good. Mr. Trump’s foreign policy blunder directly threatens America as ISIS gets a “second lease on life” according to a US official.

It is also unclear why deploying Americans to Saudi Arabia is not fueling more “endless wars” but keeping them is Syria was. Maybe it’s because the Saudis have the money to pay for America’s friendship and aid and the Kurds don’t. Maybe it’s because the president’s friendships with dictators Erdogan and Putin trumped America’s alliance with the Kurds. Who really knows what has gone through the president’s mind over the past few weeks?

The only certainty is that Mr. Trump’s actions have destabilized the region and are directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Many of those casualties are innocent people and many more of them trusted American honor and loyalty. It is difficult to see Donald Trump’s actions as anything other than a cynical betrayal resulting from a massively incompetent and incoherent foreign policy.

While his supporters champion Trump as a fighter, on the foreign policy front, he is anything but. The president’s record on international relations is one of appeasing dictators and betraying allies. His actions have handed Syria to the unholy trinity of Turkey, Russia, and ISIS.

An American Special Forces soldier summed up the entire situation on Wednesday, saying, “I am ashamed for the first time in my career. Turkey is not doing what it agreed to. It's horrible.”

Donald Trump’s actions have made America ashamed again.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Donald Trump’s No Good, Very Bad Day In Court

President Trump lost another court decision regarding his border wall on Friday. Actually, the decision regarding the wall was only one of five court decisions that the president lost that day, but the ruling against the use of presidential emergency powers to get around congressional opposition is a singularly important one for the rule of law and the Constitution.

In West Texas, U.S. District Judge David Briones, a Clinton appointee, ruled that Donald Trump’s attempt to reprogram money appropriated by Congress for other purposes toward building a border wall was “unlawful.” Briones wrote that the 2019 omnibus spending bill specifically allocated $1.375 billion for border fencing and limited construction to the “Rio Grande Valley sector” of Texas.

“The Congressional language in the [bill] reveals Congress’s intent to limit the border barrier funding,” Briones wrote, adding “the plain text of the CAA [Consolidated Appropriations Act] restricts the amount and location of funding for border barrier construction,” prohibiting the president from diverting money earmarked for military construction and counterdrug operations to the wall.

Stuart Gerson, a former DOJ official from the first Bush Administration applauded the ruling, telling Politico, “As someone who served in government under a Republican administration, I never imagined a Republican president would attempt to expand executive power this far by overriding the appropriations power that belongs to Congress.”

“I hope today’s ruling will prompt Republicans in Washington to recommit to the checks and balances that have defined our Republic and protected our freedom,” Gerson added.

In reality, the fight to preserve congressional budgetary authority is not over. The next step for Judge Briones is to allow both sides to argue the scope of an injunction against using the reprogrammed funds and the Trump Administration is certain to appeal. In July, the Supreme Court dismissed a similar injunction but did not rule on the merits of a separate case challenging Trump’s wall construction.

Elsewhere, three separate federal courts ruled against the Trump Administration’s “public charge” rule that makes it more difficult for immigrants who might need public assistance to get green cards. Judges in New York, California, and Washington issued injunctions that stopped the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing the rule.

In Washington, U.S. District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson, an Obama appointee, ruled that the government had "not cited any statute, legislative history, or other resource that supports the interpretation that Congress has delegated to DHS the authority to expand the definition of who is inadmissible as a public charge or to define what benefits undermine, rather than to promote, the stated goal of achieving self-sufficiency." Two other judges, both appointed by Bill Clinton, issued similar rulings.

Acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli argued in a statement that the rule, which exempted immigrants who have been granted asylum, lawful permanent residents and refugees, merely enforced current immigration law.

"The public charge regulation defines this law to ensure those seeking to come or stay in the U.S. can successfully support themselves financially and will not rely on public benefits as they seek opportunity here,” Cuccinelli said.

Friday’s injunctions were based on the likelihood that the plaintiffs suing the government would prevail but did not issue final decisions in the cases. As with the case regarding Donald Trump’s emergency authority, the final ruling is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Finally, the president also lost an appeal to overturn a decision requiring that he comply with a House subpoena to provide his tax documents. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled two to one that the president must turn over eight years of accounting documents. Judges appointed by Obama and Clinton comprised the majority while a Trump appointee dissented.

"We detect no inherent constitutional flaw in laws requiring presidents to publicly disclose certain financial information. And that is enough," the ruling stated.

Even though the five rulings fell along party lines, the evidence that activist judges ruled against Donald Trump out of tribal allegiances is slim in two of the three cases. The sole exception is the immigration cases, which hinge on Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act The INA states that “any alien who…  is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.” As the Immigrant Legal Resource Center explains, the new policy reinterprets the vague language of the law to change the standard from “assessing whether an applicant is likely to become primarily dependent [emphasis theirs] on the government for income support” to redefine a “public charge as a person who receives any number of public benefits [emphasis mine] for more than an aggregate of 12 months over any 36-month period of time.” This is a vastly more restrictive policy, but it would seem to be within the bounds of bureaucratic rulemaking.

When it comes to congressional subpoenas, however, the Administration seems to be in the wrong. Neomi Rao, the dissenting Trump-appointed judge, wrote, “The Constitution and our historical practice draw a consistent line between the legislative and judicial powers of Congress. The majority crosses this boundary for the first time by upholding this subpoena investigating the illegal conduct of the President under the legislative power.”

However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1927 that Congress’ power to investigate is implicit. A majority held, “In actual legislative practice power to secure needed information by such means has long been treated as an attribute of the power to legislate. It was so regarded in the British Parliament and in the Colonial legislatures before the American Revolution; and a like view has prevailed and been carried into effect in both houses of Congress and in most of the state legislatures.” Republicans had no problem with congressional investigations into the IRS, Solyndra, and Fast and Furious.

But it is President Trump’s attempt to use a national emergency to subvert the express will of Congress that is the Administration’s most egregious example of poor legal reasoning. As Republicans were fond of pointing out during the Obama years, the Constitution explicitly gives the power of the purse to the House of Representatives, which declined to give the president the money that he requested for his wall. Congress’s decision to reject the president’s request does not constitute a national emergency, especially when the situation has been ongoing for decades, including two years of the current Administration in which the current president rejected three deals for wall funding.

The national emergency not only defies the Constitution and common sense, it also defies the National Emergencies Act, which does not give the president unlimited power. Even if the emergency was genuine, Trump’s actions go beyond the limited power delegated by Congress, such as the stipulation that the emergency “requires use of the armed forces.”

A final ruling striking down Donald Trump’s abuse of national emergency authority would not only be a good thing, it is vital to the constitutional balance of powers. If all the president has to do to bend Congress to his will is to find some dubious grounds to declare an emergency then Congress becomes extraneous and unnecessary. We will have moved from a constitutional republic to rule by presidential decree.

“Today’s ruling vindicates the Founders’ wisdom and confirms that the president is not a king and that he cannot override Congress’s power to decide how to appropriate funds,” Kristy Parker, a plaintiff’s attorney with Protect Democracy said of the ruling on the border wall.

Here’s hoping that the constitutionalists on the Supreme Court see it the same way.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Friday, October 11, 2019

Trump Announces Partial Trade Deal With China

Amid a slowing economy, an unpopular foreign policy move, and an abuse of power scandal that has brought the specter of impeachment, President Trump needed a victory. Now, it appears that the president is claiming at least a partial victory in the trade war with China.
Markets are certain to cheer Mr. Trump’s announcement that the US and China have reached a “substantial phase one deal.” Treasury Secretary Mnuchin also said that the US would delay implementation of the next round of tariffs, scheduled to go into effect next week.
The details of the deal are not yet known. Trump said that phase one will be written over the next three weeks and will address intellectual property and financial services concerns as well as the purchase of $40-50 billion in US agricultural products by China.
China’s Vice Premier Liu He appeared with President Trump in the Oval Office for the announcement of the deal. The fact that the Chinese representative was present when Trump announced the deal may mean that a true breakthrough has been achieved. Previous deals trumpeted by the president have proven ephemeral.
When asked what changed since talks broke down in May, Trump said the new deal was “bigger,” per CNBC. The vice premier described the difference as “cooperation,” which may mean that the Trump Administration eased its demands.
A final deal may still be weeks away. Mnuchin said, “We have a fundamental understanding of the key issues, but there is more work to do.”
Like President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, President Trump’s China trade deal will reportedly not require congressional approval. Trump tweeted this morning that he would sign the deal “fast and clean.”
David Dollar, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told CNBC that “the two sides are not discussing a trade treaty that requires congressional approval.”
“It is a more informal agreement in which China will undertake to do certain things such as buy U.S. agricultural products and the administration will undertake not to follow through with the next rounds of tariffs. Since those tariffs do not require congressional approval, the administration can postpone or cancel without that approval,” Dollar said.
“Phase two [negotiations] will start almost immediately” after the first phase is signed, Trump said.
Regardless of the details of the deal, any delay in the upcoming implementation of tariffs will be a good thing for the economy.

Biden, Warren Rise In New Fox Poll

A new poll from Fox News confirms that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is now a two-person race. Following Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren have gained while the Vermont senator has stagnated and Kamala Harris’ slide continues.

In the new poll, Biden and Sanders together command the support of 54 percent of Democratic voters with Biden up three points to 32 percent and Warren up six points to 22 percent. Bernie Sanders was statistically unchanged with a one-point drop to 17 percent. Kamala Harris lost two points, falling to five percent, followed by Pete Buttigieg at four percent and Beto O’Rourke at three. No other candidate polled higher than two percent while “don’t know/none of the above” drew six percent.

Interestingly, Democratic primary voters say that the Ukraine scandal has made them more likely to support Joe Biden by 21 to 10 percent. Sanders’ heart attack made 31 percent less likely to support him.

In the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Biden still holds a slight lead after declining since the onset of the Ukraine whistleblower scandal in mid-September. More recent polling shows an uptick for Biden over the past few days. Elizabeth Warren now trails by an average of 1.5 points after a slow climb in the polls that began back in June.

Both Biden and Warren both seem to be benefitting from the destruction of the Harris campaign and concerns about the health of Sen. Sanders after his Sept. 30 heart attack. Sanders dropped three points in the polling average since his health scare.

Despite the media narrative that Warren is favored in the Democratic primary, Joe Biden remains the frontrunner. However, the race is hotly contested and could be upended by scandals or gaffes on the part of either candidate, such as this week’s revelation that Warren’s claim that she was fired for being pregnant was not true. At this point, it looks as though the race will go down to the wire and will likely hinge on grassroots get-out-the-vote efforts at the state and local levels.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Prank Phone Call Exposes Lindsey Graham’s Two Opposing Opinions Of Kurds

What are the odds that Russian pranksters would deceive Sen. Lindsey Graham into having a faux phone conversation with an ersatz Turkish defense minister only weeks before Turkey became an international pariah for its offensive against the formerly US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria? Believe it or not, in this case, the odds are 100 percent because, in another case of truth being stranger than satire, it happened.

Politico reports that Alexey Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov, two Russian hoaxers with suspected ties to Russian intelligence succeeded in getting Sen. Graham on the phone back in August, not once but twice. The pair, who go by the names “Lexus and Vovan,” convinced Graham that he was speaking to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. The duo’s call might have gone unnoticed except for the inconsistencies in their conversations with Graham and his public statements since the White House agreed to pave the way for the Turkish offensive by removing US troops.

Where Graham has been very critical of President Trump’s treatment of our Kurdish allies and calling for congressional action to sanction Turkey, the senator’s private comments to the fake Turkish minister conveyed a different message.

In the call, Graham called to the Kurds as a “threat” and expressed sympathy for Turkey’s “Kurdish problem.” Graham referred to Kurdish military units that had been allied with the US in the fight against ISIS, saying, “Your YPG Kurdish problem is a big problem.” Turkey has labeled the Kurdish fighters terrorists because they want a separate Kurdish state.

“I told President Trump that Obama made a huge mistake in relying on the YPG Kurds,” Graham continued. “Everything I worried about has come true, and now we have to make sure Turkey is protected from this threat in Syria. I’m sympathetic to the YPG problem, and so is the president, quite frankly.”

President Trump expressed similar sentiments this week, telling reporters, “If you read today — a couple of reports saying that when President Obama started this whole thing. As you know, it was started by President Obama; he created a natural war with Turkey and their longtime enemy, PKK. And they’re still there.”

The PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is a separate marxist Kurdish group that has been fighting a separatist war against the Turkish government since 1984. Both Turkey and the US consider the PKK a terrorist group.  

In the second call, Graham also referred to the “Turkish bank” case of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman arrested in 2016 for helping Iran to violate sanctions. Zarrab’s release has been a high priority for Turkish president Erdogan. It was reported this week that President Trump pressured then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to interfere with the DOJ case on Zarrab’s behalf in 2017. Zarrab was convicted in 2018 and sentenced to 32 months in prison. Zarrab was also a client of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney.

“And this case involving the Turkish bank, he’s very sensitive to that,” Graham said of Trump during the prank call. “The president wants to be helpful, within the limits of his power.”

“We want a better relationship with Turkey. That’s exactly what he [Trump] wants,” Graham said, also asking that Turkey rethink the NATO ally’s purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia. Graham also discussed getting Turkey added back as a customer of the US F-35 fighter aircraft program. Turkey was dropped as an F-35 customer in July after it accepted the Russian missile system.

A spokesman for Graham confirmed that the recording of the call was genuine, saying that it “slipped through the cracks” and “they got him.”

“It’s no secret Senator Graham has often traveled to Turkey and continued to speak with many members of Turkish government, including President Erdogan, about the relationship between our two countries," Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop added. "He has been clear he wants a stronger relationship and often talked about the importance of maintaining peace in northern Syria to prevent the reemergence of ISIS.”

"With Turkey’s invasion into northern Syria the drive for better relations between our two countries has suffered a body blow,” Bishop said. “Turkey should immediately withdraw their military forces and America should reinstitute the safe zone concept to keep the peace in the region. Until this is done, Senator Graham will continue to push for severe, biting sanctions against Turkey."

While I applaud Sen. Graham’s tough words to Turkey following Trump’s ill-considered retreat, I am concerned that Graham may have encouraged both Trump’s withdrawal and Turkey’s offensive by acknowledging that the Kurds represented a threat to Turkey. As to the discussion of Reza Zarrab, that seems very swampy.
Originally published on The Resurgent

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

TSA Flags Woman For Mass Quantities Of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Back when the Transportation Security Administration was first created, the agency’s overzealousness led to mocking of the TSA acronym. Wags referred to “Thousands Standing Around” and “Taking Scissors Away,” but now it seems that TSA has outdone itself by the close inspection of a large quantity of… wait for it… Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
A viral video posted October 4 shows a TSA screener removing bags of Cheetos from a carry-on bag and swabbing them. The bags are then placed on a separate stack. In the caption, the woman said that she had “like 20 bags” of the spicy snack.
It isn’t clear from the tweet whether the Cheetos were returned to the woman or not, but I suspect that they were. TSA guidelines do not prohibit the transport of “solid food items (not liquids or gels)” in either checked or carry-on bags. Even Cheeto dust would be a solid food.
However, the website adds, “TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.” That seems to be what happened in this case since the woman says that TSA “thought I was hiding sh-t inside my bag.”
The swab that the screener rubbed across each bag of Cheetos is typically used to test for traces of explosive chemicals. Apparently, this test was negative.
So it probably was not that TSA thought the Cheetos were literally “dangerously cheesy,” that they were literally “flamin’ hot,” or that they considered them to be “weapons of -ss destruction,” the screener just thought that they might be masking some other dangerous items in the bag. After all, spicy Cheetos might be a gut bomb but not of the sort that would bring down an airliner. They would more likely be a mild inconvenience to the woman’s seatmates.
Why, you may ask, was the woman transporting such a large quantity of Cheetos? Apparently, Cheetos are hard to get in Korea. I would guess that they are practically impossible to get in North Korea and merely difficult to locate in the South.
This brings up the point that the Cheetos could be considered contraband by customs. TSA’s primary role is to prevent dangerous items from being brought on board, not illegal items. Therefore, even if TSA was cool with hot Cheetos, there might be penalties for carrying Cheetos across the border into Korea. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos might be hot in the figurative sense as well.
Fortunately for this traveler, the South Korean customs site says that “plants, fruits & vegetables, and agricultural [and] forestry products” are restricted, but makes no mention processed food-like substances such as Cheetos.  Although Cheetos do contain “cheese seasoning” made from cheddar cheese, there are probably only trace amounts of anything that could be considered an agricultural product.
The lesson here is that Americans have an inalienable right to board airplanes with mass quantities of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, but they may not have the right to transport Cheetos across international borders. When in doubt, check the TSA guidelines before you fly as well as the customs websites for your destination. Other countries can look harshly on seemingly innocuous items from everyday American life. What you don’t know can get you into trouble with foreign authorities.

Originally published on The Resurgent

Turkey Begins Offensive Against Kurds In Syria

Turkey has launched an offensive in northeastern Syria according to multiple reports. The Turkish offensive is aimed at seizing territory held by US-backed Kurds operating as Syrian Defense Forces (SDF).
The official Twitter account of the Turkish presidency tweeted that President Erdogan ordered the new offensive, which the Turks, in Orwellian fashion, have dubbed “Operation Peace Spring.”

President and Commander-in-Chief @RTErdogan, who was briefed by Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, ordered the launch of .

View image on Twitter

264 people are talking about this

CNN reported that Erdogan’s Turkish language Twitter account said that the offensive was aimed at “terrorists.” Turkey and the Kurds, an ethnic minority that does not have an official state, have a long history of animosity.
Erdogan said on Twitter, “Our aim is to destroy the terror corridor which is trying to be established on our southern border and to bring peace and peace to the region.” He added that Turkey “will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”
The stage was set for the Turkish offensive on Sunday when the Trump Administration announced unexpectedly that US forces in the region would withdraw to positions that would not block a Turkish invasion. The US has said that it would not intervene to protect the Kurds if Turkey attacks.

A bad situation in Northeast Syria is about to get much worse. Sources tell me that US officials have just informed the Syrian Kurds that Turkey is likely to attack on air and ground in next 24 hours. The US will do nothing. Targets are Tal Abyad and Ras al Ayn....

18.4K people are talking about this

Trump’s decision was reportedly made without consulting military advisors. An official on the National Security Council with direct knowledge of Trump’s telephone conversation with Erdogan told Newsweek that the US president got “rolled” and that the move left the Defense Department “completely stunned.” A similar Trump announcement last resulted in the angry resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“President Trump was definitely out-negotiated and only endorsed the troop withdrawal to make it look like we are getting something—but we are not getting something,” the NSC official said. “The U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that’s the bottom line.”
Many Republicans also condemned the president’s decision. ” “A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “As we learned the hard way during the Obama administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”
As the news of the US retreat broke on Monday, President Trump tweeted, “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off-limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”

As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over...

167K people are talking about this

It is not clear whether President Trump considers a Turkish attack on the Kurds to be “off-limits.” At press time, Mr. Trump had not commented on the Turkish offensive.

Originally published on The Resurgent