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Iraqi president says Trump did not ask permission to ‘watch Iran’

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Iraqi President Barham Salih said on Monday that President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq’s permission for U.S. troops stationed there to “watch Iran.”

Speaking at a forum in Baghdad, Salih was responding to a question about Trump’s comments to CBS about how he would ask troops stationed in Iraq to “watch” Iran.

U.S. troops in Iraq are there as part of an agreement between the two countries with a specific mission of combating terrorism, Salih said, and that they should stick to that.

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Trump said it was important to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq so that Washington can keep a close eye on Iran “because Iran is a real problem,” according to a CBS interview broadcast on Sunday.

“Don’t overburden Iraq with your own issues,” Salih said. “The U.S. is a major power … but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here.”

Iraq is in a difficult position as tensions between its two biggest allies, the United States and Iran, increase.

“It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran” and other neighboring countries, Salih said.

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Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein and John Davison, editing by Louise Heavens


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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George Kent destroys right-wing conspiracy theory Ukraine interfered in 2016 election: ‘No factual basis’

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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent debunked a right-wing conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine -- not Russia -- who intervened in the 2016 election.

Kent was interviewed by former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman, who is currently serving as a senior advisor and director of investigations for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Are you aware this is all part of a larger allegation that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?" Goldman asked.

"Yes, that is my understanding," Kent replied.

"To your knowledge, is there any factual basis to support the allegation that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?" Goldman asked.

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‘Very damaging to the president’: Chris Wallace says first impeachment hearing left scorch marks on Trump

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Fox News host Chris Wallace on Wednesday reacted to the first public impeachment hearing by calling it "very damaging to the president."

During a break in the proceedings, Wallace said that President Donald Trump should be worried about the testimonies of Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Wallace said that he expected the hearing to be "pretty devastating."

"I think that William Taylor was a very impressive witness and was very damaging to the president," the Fox News host explained. "He took very copious notes at almost every conversation. When he put quotes in his opening statement, he said those were direct quotes from what was said."

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‘This is Congress’s authority and responsibility’: National security lawyer fires back at Stephanie Grisham for saying impeachment hearings are ‘boring’

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As the first public hearing in the House impeachment inquiry gets underway, an emerging talking point from allies of President Trump is that the spectacle is "boring." One of those regurgitating that talking point is White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who went a step further and said that the "sham" hearing is not only boring, but a "colossal waste of taxpayer time & money."

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