On Tuesday, CNN’s John Avlon laid into President Donald Trump for his lies about Syria — lies which, he noted, have a terrible human cost.
“War and peace. Life and death,” said Avlon. “And that’s the power of the presidency. And that’s what we’re seeing in Syria right now. Where President Trump’s impulsive order to remove U.S. troops after a call with Turkey’s autocrat is causing chaos and slaughter. And it’s given an anticipated victory to four American adversaries, Russia, Iran, the Syrian government and Islamic State.”
“Who could have seen this coming? Basically anyone who was paying attention, except, apparently, President Trump,” continued Avlon. “And so, faced with the real-time consequences of his actions, he’s defaulting to his comfort zone: A pattern of disinformation.”
“Trump’s initial tweet storm may have gotten the faithful, but not so much his former special envoy on ISIS, Brett McGurk, who tweeted, ‘Mr. President, with all due respect, none of this is true,'” continued Avlon. “‘None of this is true’ might sound a bit like a blanket statement, kind of harsh, but let’s break it down. He claimed U.S. troops were supposed to be in Syria for just 30 days. Well, because video exists, let’s go back to the 2015 White House press conference.”
“We’ve been quite candid about the fact that this is not a short-term proposition,” said then-Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “I don’t have a specific date to give you when they will come out.”
“Got that? No timeline. Okay,” said Avlon. “Well, how about President Trump’s statement the U.S. defeated 100 percent of the ISIS caliphate, including capturing thousands of ISIS fighters, mostly from Europe. To start with, most of the captured ISIS fighters are from Iraq and Syria, not Europe. That’s a big no. And while it’s true almost 100 percent has been recaptured, there are still thousands of ISIS fighters on the ground. Don’t believe me? Ask Sen. Lindsey Graham.”
“The biggest lie being told by the administration that ISIS is defeated,” said Graham in the clip.
“Not sure it’s the biggest lie, but how about this statement from Trump on Thursday,” continued Avlon.
“We have no soldiers in Syria,” said Trump in the clip. “We’ve won. We beat ISIS and we beat them badly and decisively. We have no soldiers.”
“Well, that wasn’t true. The Pentagon confirmed the U.S. still had about 1,000 troops in Syria as of last month. Over the weekend, Secretary of Defense announced the president ordered him to remove all troops from Syria. So U.S. policy again shifted around the president’s impulses which brings me to another line from the president. That the troops needed to leave or could end up stuck in the crossfire. They pulled troops from a border relatively stable until late last week.”
“Finally, in a classic arsonist turn, President Trump has pulled the move on sanctions,” said Avlon. “With apologies to ‘Cool Hand Luke’, what we have here is failure to communicate. Not just between the president and military advisers or between the U.S. and our allies but between the people and their president because we saw this past week, while the Kurds die, the president lies. And that’s your reality check.”
Trump’s refusal to bail out cash-strapped cities will blow up in his face at election time: economist
On CNN Saturday, University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers said he was "baffled" by President Donald Trump's flat refusal to allow coronavirus stimulus to go to city governments, ostensibly because they are being mismanaged by Democrats and don't deserve more money.
"I took calls from journalists throughout the last two or three years saying, what is it Trump is going to do in late 2020 to artificially goose the economy to get re-elected? And people were thinking of all sorts of ideas," said Wolfers. "The Democratic Congress has sent him a $3 trillion bill and he's refused to sign it."
GOP strategist shut down by CNN’s Blackwell for fear-mongering about deficits after Republicans handed out tax cuts to the rich
On CNN Saturday, Republican strategist Brian Robinson tried to claim the Democratic coronavirus stimulus proposal was a nonstarter because of deficit spending — and was immediately smacked down by anchor Victor Blackwell, who reminded him his party forced through a 12-figure unpaid-for tax cut for corporations and billionaires in 2017 over Democratic objections.
"$3.4 trillion dollars is where [Democrats] started. That's not a place we can start," said Robinson. "We have to fix our short-term problems. We've got to help people in need. We've got to help people not be evicted from their homes. Those are all important. But, it's not the only consideration. We already added $3 trillion to our national debt in the last few months. That's never happened in our nation's history. There is a limit to how much we can do. Republicans aren't pinching pennies, they're trying to use common sense."
Trump is down to only two paths to victory in November: election-modeling historian
On Saturday's edition of CNN's "Smerconish," American University history professor Allan Lichtman, whose election-modeling system based on 13 "key" factors predicted President Donald Trump's win in 2016 and now predicts former Vice President Joe Biden will defeat him, discussed the two possible ways he believes — contrary to his model — that Trump could potentially turn things around and manage a victory.
"The keys are in granite. He has seven keys against him. It takes six to predict the loss of the incumbent White House party," said Lichtman. "However, there are two things outside the realm of the keys or any prediction system, Michael, that keep me up at night."