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Deployed US Marines snicker at Trump’s overseas withdraw plans — because they’re unsure if he’s telling the truth

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President Donald Trump tweeted a recent decision that he’d be pulling out American troops from Afghanistan and Syria. The news came as a shock to the Pentagon and commanders overseas, neither of which had heard the policy shift was even a consideration.

In wake of the decision, members of the military admitted they “have no idea” what is happening, how they’ll move forward or what to expect in the coming weeks.

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In a Wall Street Journal report, Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant at Bost Air Field in Afghanistan, was asked by a Marine what the president’ orders meant for those deployed.

“That’s a really good question,” he replied. “And the honest answer is I have no idea.”

“We’ve won against ISIS,” Trump said in a short Twitter this week. “We’ve beaten them and we’ve beaten them badly. We’ve taken back the land. And now it’s time for our troops to come back home.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said in a CNN interview with Jim Sciutto that the decision seemed to indicate the policy was about bringing the troops home for Christmas. CNN’s John Avlon agreed, also noting that Trump might see it as this, and clearly not have the facts. As Neller explained, that’s far from the case.

“Are your families asking if you’re leaving?” Neller asked a group of Marines in Helmand province. Many said they were. “You’re not leaving.”

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The Journal explained that none of the commanders have details about the president’s plan to draw down the troops.

“The Marines have laughed with their leader and his honesty, but it belied a frustration among officers and personnel about the lack of details from Washington: If Gen. Neller, one of the highest-ranking officers in the American military doesn’t know what’s happening, who does?” The Journal wrote.

In another case, Gen. Austin Miller, the head of U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces in Afghanistan, received morning intelligence briefings that focused on news reports because there was no official communication from the White House or Pentagon.

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“I don’t think anybody really knows exactly what’s going to happen,” Gen. Neller told some Marines Friday. “I’ve read the same stuff in the newspaper you did, I have a little more knowledge than that, but not a whole lot more.”

Read the full report here.

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Texas conservatives lose their minds after GOP Gov. Greg Abbott mandates masks in public

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Texas' Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott finally acknowledged that there is a serious problem as COVID-19 takes down the state's population.

It was just a few months ago that municipalities were deciding for themselves when and if they would reopen. But Abbott shut it down, saying that his orders "overrule any local jurisdiction."

In April, "Abbott and the state’s other Republican leaders have blasted local officials in Dallas and Houston for what they called overzealous enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, first zeroing in on Democratically led Harris County’s decision to fine residents for not wearing face masks, a penalty Abbott banned in his April 27 reopening order," ProPublica reported. "The fights came to a head this month with the arrest of a Dallas hair salon owner who refused to shutter her business, an act of defiance that was supported by a right-wing group that launched a GoFundMe campaign a day before she reopened that raised $500,000 before it was disabled."

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Unemployment may not return to pre-COVID levels for a decade: Congressional Budget Office

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On Thursday, Politico reported that it could take a decade for unemployment levels to return to where they were before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

"The economic outlook for the next 10 years has 'deteriorated significantly' since the independent budget agency issued its last complete set of projections in January, CBO noted," reported Caitlan Emma. "That illustrates the devastating effects of the pandemic and underscores the reality of a slower economic recovery than the 'rocket ship' rebound predicted by President Donald Trump."

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Fired SDNY prosecutor to testify before House Judiciary Committee — behind closed doors: report

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The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Geoffrey Berman will testify after the bizarre sequence of events that preceded his ouster from the office. AG Bill Barr announced that Berman was resigning, with the SDNY denied. He was then fired by President Donald Trump.

NEW: Fired US Attorney for SDNY Geoffrey Berman will appear next week before House Judiciary behind closed doors next Thursday, according to a congressional aide

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