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Kurdish forces warned they’d go to Putin and Assad if US withdrew: Former Trump envoy

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Now that President Donald Trump has made it clear that he will abandon Kurdish resistance fighters to be persecuted and killed by Turkish forces, the erstwhile U.S. allies are moving to cut a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to ensure their protection — all but wiping out U.S. support in the region.

Not only was this broadly predicted by experts, but according to The Daily Beast, former anti-ISIS special envoy Brett McGurk was warned explicitly by Kurdish officials last year that this would happen if America did not secure a deal to contain Turkey and ensure the Kurds’ continuing security.

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“McGurk said he supported that idea at a time when Trump already was talking about pulling out of Syria, but he met firm opposition within the administration. (Special Representative for Syria Engagement Jim Jeffrey, for one, ‘told the Kurds on multiple occasions, ‘we’ll manage Turkey, don’t make a deal with the [Assad] regime,” according to a source familiar with the matter),” reported the Beast. “Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and crew insisted the U.S. must stay in Syria until Iran was out, or at least on its way.”

McGurk, a widely respected diplomat, resigned last December as Trump first made movements to withdraw troops from Syria. He ultimately backed off at the time, but is now making good on it.

“Since McGurk’s resignation, he has stayed in touch with the members of the SDF and some contacts in the U.S. departments of state and defense,” reported the Beast. “He says the Kurds asked repeatedly if the support and protection of the United States could be relied upon, and they were told repeatedly that the Americans had their backs. But that was not the case.”

There was, in short, ample warning for the human rights disaster unfolding in northern Syria, and the damage to U.S. soft power — and Trump chose to ignore it.

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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Donald Trump Jr laughs at the prospect that Bill Barr will eventually lock up Trump’s political enemies

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On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when Democrats are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded "these things take time."

Trump Jr. repeated that particular line in his tweet, accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:

These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner is ‘officially overseeing’ Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘from his seat in the West Wing’: NY Times

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The administration of President Donald Trump has had multiple scandals for using federal government resources to aid his 2020 re-election campaign, but senior White House advisor Jared Kushner is his de facto campaign manager, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"Hours before the House Judiciary Committee was set to take a historic vote to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, campaign officials gathered across the Potomac River for a state-of-the-race briefing in which they described how the Republican Party had been transformed into the “beer and bluejeans party” crafted in Mr. Trump’s image," the newspaper reported, despite the fact Trump claims he does not drink beer and is not known for wearing anything other than suits and golf attire.

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