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US envoy seeks means to ‘finish the job’ in Iraq

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WASHINGTON – The US ambassador in Baghdad, James Jeffrey, on Tuesday urged the Senate for the means to “finish the job” in Iraq after the complete withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year.

“The Department of State is ready to take the lead. But we need the support and resources to finish the job,” Jeffrey told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He evoked “a historic opportunity” to find in Baghdad a “strategic partner and a force for stability” in the region, but warned a sudden drop in the US effort could allow Al-Qaeda and other “dangerous” influences to fill the void.

“We need to have platforms around the country to carry out key transitional missions for the next three to five years,” Jeffrey said.

“These include work, political, economic, security and other officials throughout the country, especially in key areas, such as Kirkuk and Mosul.”

Jeffrey said the State Department budget for Iraq would continue to increase but that it was far less than the military budget, which is now decreasing with its declining role.

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The committee, chaired by John Kerry, a former presidential candidate, published a report on Iraq raising questions about the transition from the US military to civilian presence.

“It is unclear whether the State Department has the capacity to maintain and protect the currently planned diplomatic presence without a degree of US military support,” it concluded.

“Uncertainty about the nature of US military presence in Iraq after 2012 is complicating all other aspects of the transition and must be clarified,” it said.

“The bureaucratic integration between the Departments of Defense and State remains incomplete, and the unity of effort in Baghdad has not been matched in Washington,” it said.

“A creative and sustainable funding mechanism is needed to pay for the diplomatic mission in Iraq,” it added.

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2020 Election

Utah Republican is in deep trouble after trying to defend Trump’s breaking of the law

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President Donald Trump's poor standing in Utah could cause big electoral problems for one of his loudest defenders in the state.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said Trump would be "foolish" if he did not illegally accept election help from foreign adversaries.

On Saturday, Stewart was blasted by former CIA officer Evan McMullin.

McMullin was born in Provo, attended Brigham Young University, is Mormon and a also prominent conservative critic of Trump.

In 2016, McMullin ran against Trump as an Independent and received 21.3 percent of the vote in Utah during the general election. Trump also had problems in Utah during the Republican primary, receiving only 14 percent of the vote.

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Trump ‘will not leave his office if he narrowly loses in 2020’: Conservative columnist issues dire warning

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President Donald Trump will fight to remain in power regardless of the outcome if the 2020 election is close, a conservative columnist warned on Saturday.

Andrew Sullivan blasted Trump in New York magazine, honing in on the commander-in-chief's lying.

"For Trump, lying is central to his disturbed psyche, and to his success. The brazenness of it unbalances and stupefies sane and adjusted people, thereby constantly giving him an edge and a little breathing space while we try to absorb it, during which he proceeds to the next lie," he wrote.

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‘Veto the Cheato’: Americans gathered nationwide for #ImpeachTrump rallies

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Frustrated Americans on Saturday attended #ImpeachTrump rallies from coast-to-coast.

The rallies were organized by MoveOn, Indivisible, Democracy for America, the Women's March, Credo and other progressive organizations.

Over 140 events were held nationwide.

[caption id="attachment_1513038" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Map of #ImpeachTrump rallies in the contiguous United States.[/caption]

Many attendees took the time to create hand-made protest signs, while others held printed banners.

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