US Republicans warned Thursday that Saudi-led air-strikes in Yemen, apparently conducted without US coordination, show Arab allies have lost trust in the Obama administration as it navigates delicate nuclear talks with Iran.
As warplanes from Saudi Arabia and other allies pounded Huthi Shiite rebel positions for a second straight day, hawkish US lawmakers expressed alarm at the “proxy war” unfolding in the Middle East, and pinned part of the blame on President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
The Saudi-led intervention without notifying Washington ahead of time “signals a reality that the countries in the region no longer have confidence or are willing to work with the United States of America,” Senator John McCain told reporters.
He said he heard “repeatedly from leaders in the region that they believe that we are forming some kind of Faustian bargain with the Iranians, which would then lead to the great danger to those countries.”
Washington and other world powers are in the midst of intense negotiations with Tehran over limiting its nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of Western economic sanctions.
Senator Lindsey Graham, who has signalled he may run for president in 2016, accused Obama of softening America’s power in the Middle East — for example by refusing to engage more directly in Syria’s civil war — in order to not disrupt the delicate nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Such action has “led to the rise of (Islamic State group) ISIL, to their flourishing, and now it’s leading to a full-scale sectarian war” which could spill over into Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Jordan, Graham said.
US engagement has served for decades as a moderating influence in the region, Graham noted.
But “the fact that the Arab coalition no longer trusts us, or feels they need to inform us as what they’re about to do, is chilling,” he said.
General Lloyd Austin, head of US Central Command, told a Senate hearing that he had little advance notice of the Saudi air strikes launched on Wednesday.
Austin said he was informed by Saudi Arabia about the operation only “shortly before they took action.”
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: