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Day 1002

1/ Mick Mulvaney tried to walk-back his claim that Trump's decision to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation of the hacked Democratic National Committee server. Trump has repeatedly claimed his decision to hold up the aid was due to concerns about corruption in Ukraine and that European nations weren't doing enough to help Ukraine. Trump was reportedly "not happy" with Mulvaney's press briefing, in which he said "We do that all the time with foreign policy" and that every one should "Get over it," because "There's going to be political influence in foreign policy." Mulvaney later issued a statement, which was first reviewed by Trump, saying that "There was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election." When Trump was asked to clarify Mulvaney's statement, Trump responded: "I think he clarified it." Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Mulvaney's comments a "confession." (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / CNN)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

ISIS eyes breakout opportunity as Turkish forces batter Kurds

Both sides reject the claim of a ceasefire; Turkey says a ceasefire can only occur between two legitimate sides, and the Kurds aren’t. The Kurds state Turkey has not stopped attacking them (which is true) and reject the part of the “deal” where they have to completely disarm, which would leave them helpless against Assad when he comes for their leadership, as has been his method in the past. All told, it’s looking like Trump’s claims of brokering a deal are pure propaganda.

U.S. Says It Made ‘Ceasefire’ Deal in Syria But Turkey and Kurdish Forces Reject Claim


‘Absolutely No Respect for Human Life’: Trump Compares Turkish Assault on Kurds to Two Kids Fighting in a Parking Lot

Trump Compares the Turks & Kurds to ‘Two Kids’ Fighting

Hours after his vice president & secretary of state brokered a cease-fire, Trump said he was right to let Turkey attack America’s Kurdish allies because it eventually led to a deal.

PS: It didn’t.

Six years of work destroyed in six days: The collapse of eastern Syria

Turkish media, all supporting the invasion, would call the murder of Khalaf a “neutralization” of a “terrorist."

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Hilarious addendum to the China story:

Top Economic Advisers Warned Trump on Tariffs Before China Truce

President countered that Fed shared blame for dimming economic outlook and called top trade hawk into meeting: ‘Where’s Peter?’

That would be THIS Peter, of course:

‘Fiction’ warning slapped on anti-China book by Trump adviser Peter Navarro, as ‘Death by China’ source revealed to be author’s pseudonym

Publisher issues alert after fake quote controversy engulfs president’s ‘China muse’

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HUD officials knowingly failed ‘to comply with the law,’ stalled Puerto Rico hurricane relief funds

Lawmakers questioned why HUD kicked off a funding process for 17 states affected by disasters — but left out Puerto Rico.

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