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MSNBC investigates whether Trump’s financial interests are resulting in Turkey’s ethnic cleansing

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With condemnation of President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon Kurds in Syria so widespread that #TrumpGenocide trended on Twitter, MSNBC examined whether President Donald Trump’s financial interests could be the root cause of the change in U.S. foreign policy.

“All right, so the question tonight is, why is Donald Trump letting it happen? Today, the Turkish military launched attacks on the Kurdish forces that fight alongside the U.S. against ISIS. It’s happening in the wake of Trump’s promise to pull out American troops from there,” MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reported. “There are already reports of civilian deaths and Kurdish commanders are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis. Members of Trump’s own party are accusing him of abandoning a key ally.”

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“And even Trump’s military advisers disagree with the move. In fact, Trump says he’s fulfilling a campaign promise to get out of the Middle East, but there’s another dimension at play in all of this. Trump has business interests in Turkey. That’s something he clearly admits,” he noted.

Mohyeldin played a clip of Trump admitting his conflict-of-interest during a 2015 interview with Breitbart.

“I have a little conflict-of-interest because I have a major, major building in Istanbul. And it’s a tremendously successful job. It’s called Trump Towers,” Trump said. “Two towers. Instead of one, not the usual one. It’s two.”

In fact, Ivanka Trump thanked Turkish leader Recep Erdoğan on Twitter in 2012

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“So this is really the first time that we have seen the president make a major national security decision, putting lives at risk, in a place where he himself has acknowledged that he has a conflict-of-interest,” NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla reported.

“There are several ways in which this is true. The most visible one are those Trump Towers where he got $10 million payday for that, while the royalties for that have decreased over time, Ayman, because he’s now president, he receives less money for that, there are many other ways in which he’s invested in Turkey,” she explained.

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“We found as part of a lawsuit, that is an active lawsuit right now, that Turkey has the highest number of foreign ventures in which the Trump family is at least a partial owner, at 119. NBC News has also found, exclusively, according to a report that was put together for us by an outside group, that the Turkish officials are the top patrons at Trump properties worldwide,” she continued.

“Now, let me stress that no one is saying that this is why the president made the decision that he made. But what we are saying is nobody understands why he made the decision, and he has these business interests. This is the first time we’re really in this position of having to ask some of these tough questions, because the fact is that there’s a pattern here, specifically with Erdoğan,” she noted.

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Przybyla reported “Trump also deferred to Erdoğan on two major issues, going against NATO. The first one was his purchase, Erdoğan’s purchase of a Russian missile system. That, a lot of members of Congress, think should have triggered sanctions. And Trump has essentially held those off. Trump also notably praised Erdoğan after his crackdown, after a failed military coup in 2016, effectively taking over a number of independent news media outlets. Imprisoning a journalist, and Trump, again, kind of soft pedaled that and even praised Erdoğan.”

“Erdoğan has also used the towers for leverage already, Ayman. Back in 2016, when Trump tried to ban certain individuals from certain Muslim nations, Turkey threatened to take his name off the towers. Then when we saw Michael Flynn, his then National Security adviser, pen this op-ed favorable to Erdoğan, and it calmed down and quieted the calls for taking Trump’s name off the towers that he is so proud of,” she added.

Watch:

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‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

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On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

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NFL Commissioner Goodell apologizes for league’s indifference to players’ protests against racism

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On Friday, CNN reported that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is acknowledging his organization turned a blind eye when his athletes took a knee to protest racism and police violence, and issued a formal apology.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell said in a newly released Instagram video. "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

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Maxine Waters calls for Trump’s Cabinet initiate the 25th Amendment ‘before this would-be dictator takes us all down’

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for Donald Trump to be removed from office on Friday.

"Is there one brave member of Trump’s cabinet who would move to initiate the 25th Amendment to remove him from office?" Waters asked on the president's favorite social networking platform.

The 25th Amendment would allow Vice President Mike Pence to ascend to the presidency if a majority of Trump's cabinet declares "the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

"Now is the time to save our country before this would-be dictator takes us all down!" Waters warned.

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