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US to leave 200 American peacekeepers in Syria after American pullout: White House

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The United States will leave “a small peacekeeping group” of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday.

“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a brief statement.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney

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Rudy Giuliani points the finger at Kurt Volker after Sondland throws him under the bus

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Rudy Giuliani blamed the former special envoy to Ukraine for the legal predicament he could be facing from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony.

President Donald Trump was placed at the center of the Ukraine scandal by Sondland and former envoy Kurt Volker, who testified Tuesday that he rejected conspiracy theories pushed by Giuliani about Joe Biden.

Sondland told lawmakers Wednesday that Trump directed diplomats and other officials to "talk to Rudy" about negotiating the release of Ukraine military aid in exchange for an investigation of Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Giuliani then pointed his finger at Volkery, who left the government last month as the scandal erupted into an impeachment inquiry, after joining the State Department in July 2017.

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Pence spokesman denies Sondland testimony linking him to Ukraine scheme

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Vice President Mike Pence scrambled away from testimony from EU ambassador Gordon Sondland linking him to the Ukraine scandal.

The ambassador told a House impeachment inquiry that Pence was notified of concerns that military aid to Ukraine had been held up until the foreign government announced an investigation of Joe Biden.

“The Vice President never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations," said Pence spokesman Marc Short.

President Donald Trump had been scheduled to meet Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky on Sept. 1 in Warsaw, but Sondland said the president bowed out to oversee hurricane response and sent Pence instead.

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‘It’s all over’: Trump shouts Sondland quotes at reporters before wandering off without taking questions

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President Donald Trump did not answer questions while leaving the White House nearly an hour late for an event in Texas.

Trump departed during questioning of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, whose testimony earlier in the day had implicated the president, Vice President Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani and others.

“I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy though," Trump said of Sondland.

Trump also disputed Sondland's characterization that he had once been in a bad mood.

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