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Trump may keep troops in Syria — despite campaign promise to end ‘never-ending wars’

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President Donald Trump is learning why being the U.S. president isn’t all rallies and fun state dinners; it’s about difficult decisions.

New York Times reporters Maggie Habermann and Eric Schmitt wrote Sunday that Trump is considering leaving some troops on the ground in Syria, even though he wants to pull out and bring all troops home.

One plan proposed by the Pentagon says that a few hundred special forces would be left on the ground in Syria, while the rest would be shipped to Iraq. Trump also just sent troops to Saudi Arabia, despite a campaign promise to bring troops home.

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“If Mr. Trump approves the proposal to leave a couple of hundred Special Operations forces in eastern Syria, it would mark the second time in 10 months that he has reversed his order to pull out nearly all American troops from the country,” wrote The Times. “Last December, Mr. Trump directed 2,000 American troops to leave Syria immediately, only to relent later and approve a more gradual withdrawal.”

The reporters also noted that it would be one of the most significant political reversals over the last few days after his own party pressured him. The other being the withdrawal of Trump’s resort being used for the G-7 summit next year.

Trump decided abruptly last Sunday to withdraw all troops from Syria so that Turkey could bomb the Kurds, who they’ve always opposed. Turkey then bombed the area until Vice President Mike Pence rushed to Turkey to negotiate a 120-hour pause to the shelling.

For the past week, Trump has been under attack by not only Democrats but Republicans for bungling the situation in Syria, where the Kurdish forces were driving out ISIS.

A “senior administration official said it was highly likely that troops would be kept along the Iraqi border area — away from the cease-fire zone that Vice President Mike Pence negotiated with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey last week,” wrote The Times. “The main goal would be to prevent the Islamic State from re-establishing all or parts of its religious state, or caliphate, in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

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The official also said that the president is “balancing competing impulses: achieving the ultimate goal of bringing United States forces home from Syria — part of a signature campaign promise to pull American troops from ‘endless wars’ — and ensuring that efforts to contain and diminish ISIS continue.”

Read the full piece from The New York Times.


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Internet disgusted after Buffalo first responders cheer cops charged with assaulting 75-year-old man

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Commenters on Twitter expressed both contempt and disgust for Buffalo firefighters and police officers who turned out in front of Buffalo City Court to support two suspended police officers with applause and cheering.

Moments after officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault and then released without having to post bail, they were greeted as heroes outside the courthouse.

After a video was posted showing the celebration, commenters on Twitter vented at cops and firefighters for defending the two officers who assaulted the 75-year-old man who had to be rushed to a hospital after they shoved him to the ground where he sustained a head injury.

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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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