Trump DEFENDS abandoning Kurds in Northern Syria to Erdogan amid HEAVY criticism from Republicans   

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Late last night Trump announced, via a statement from the White House, that troops would be withdrawing from Northern Syria and Turkey allowed to continue its conquest of the area: Today, President . . .
          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in SyriaPresident Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility. Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks' economy if they went too far. It was the latest example of Trump's approach to foreign policy that critics condemn as impulsive, that he sometimes reverses and that frequently is untethered to the advice of his national security aides.



          

Trump Defends Decision To Abandon Kurdish Allies Fighting ISIS In Syria   

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Trump Defends Decision To Abandon Kurdish Allies Fighting ISIS In Syria"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to ... figure the situation out," the president tweeted.



          

Body Language Analysis No. 4398: Mohammed bin Salman regarding the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi ("60 Minutes" Interview) — Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)   

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Last week on 60 Minutes, Mohammed bin Salman was interviewed by Norah O'Donnell. What follows is a crucial portion of that interview evaluated in detail with nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage analysis. 

NORAH O'DONNELL: Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Absolutely [drawn-out], ah-um — [pause] — not.


Immediately after Ms. O'Donnell asks the question, "Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?" — when the camera switches to him, Mohammed bin Salman does not have eye contact with her or the camera. He's looking down. More specifically, he's looking down to his left. This is the quadrant to which most people look when they're formulating an answer.

Why does the Saudi Prince have to think about this simple question regarding such an important matter? There should be no thinking. There should be no planning of sentences or syntax.

Mohammed bin Salman's lack of eye contact here is profoundly telling and cannot be over-emphasized. When being asked a direct question, particularly a yes-or-no question, the presence of (and nuance of) eye contact is the most crucial component when separating truth from deception. While, importantly, eye-contact is not expected to be constant or staring — during this crucial portion of his answer, his lack of eye contact screams deception. 

The Crown Prince also shakes his head side-to-side (No) as he takes in a deep breath. Mohammed bin Salman then holds that breath in a Valsalva-type variation — thus exerting elevated intrathoracic pressure. In this context, this physiology indicates significantly elevated anxiety and it's highly indicative of deception.


Mohammed bid Salman then blinks twice within a second — the latter being of longer duration and a deeper blink (complete eyelid closure). Two seconds later he again begins rapid blinking.


The Saudi Prince then hand-shrugs with his right thumb pointing up. The camera angle did not permit a view of his left hand. This particular thumbs-up illustrator is an example of a Partial Emblematic Slip. In detail, an Emblem is a universally recognized nonverbal signal (A thumbs-up dynamic is a universally recognized gesture of approval). It's Partial, because it's not presented in a fully-expressed manner, but rather in a lower-height and short-duration mode. And, it's a Slip, because it's a tell — or leakage of feelings he truly has, yet is trying to suppress — it slips out.

Mohammed bin Salman, despite his extensive coaching and preparation for this interview, let his true thought-emotions slip in this split second — via his thumb. His body language is saying, "Yes, I did". Intriguingly, this affirmation signal comes just prior to him saying the word, "Absolutely".


During the last portion of the word, "Absolutely" — as well as during his "ah-um" and also during his pause, Mohammed bin Salman can be seen displaying a suppressed smile. This is an example of what is known as Duping Delight (Ekman). It signals that the speaker is feeling true joy-happiness in his belief that he has fooled his audience.

It's important to note that, that what action delight the perpetrator, may very well not delight onlookers (as is the case here, of course). Moreover, those displaying duping delight may not be as convincing in their camouflage of deception as they believe.

Can you imagine being innocent of committing a murder or ordering that murder and having even an iota of a smile on your face in your denial? Smiling out-of-context is always a telling red flag.


After his stutter/ah-um and his pause, Mohammed bid Salman then says the word, "No". As he speaks it, his forehead and eyebrows elevate, while his eyelids simultaneously mildly move downward. The opposing directional dynamic of these two closely juxtaposed facial tissues — as he is denying (saying the word "No") is highly correlative with lying.

A monumentally important tell is displayed toward the end of the pause, and when he is saying, "No" — The Crown Prince stops his side-to-side head movement and thrusts his head and neck forward. When his words are saying, "No", his body language ceases to agree. This nonverbal-verbal disparity dynamic is a blaring siren of deception.


He then avoids eye contact again looking down to his left —


— and exhibits additional rapidly blinking.

The Crown Prince's choice of words here are also quite noteworthy. His first word, upon being asked this question, should not be one of affirmation — rather it should be that of negation.

He also draws out the word, "Absolutely". Moreover, he inserts an "ah" immediately followed by a brief "um", and a long pause prior to saying, "No".

Why would an innocent person need to pause before saying, "No"?

In full, he answers, "Absolutely [drawn out] ah-um [pause] not".

Of course, the translator did not insert these critical paralanguage (statement analysis) details as he translated, and his omission completely changes the meaning. You don't have to speak Arabic — or even watch the video, you can simply listen — the Saudi Prince did not speak with conviction or confidence.

SUMMARY: Mohammed bin Salman's nonverbal, verbal, and paralanguage behavior during this crucial portion of this interview indicates that, with extremely high probability, he did order the killing of Washington Post journalist and US resident, Jamal Khashoggi.


Media Inquiries and Keynote Appearances 
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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4397: Donald Trump Defends Himself Against The Whistleblower

Body Language Analysis No. 4396: Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation Hearing — Reading Between the Lines

Body Language Analysis No. 4395: Mike Pompeo - "Just the Past Ten Days Alone, We've Killed Over a Thousand Taliban"

Body Language Analysis No. 4394: Donald Trump, "I am The Chosen One"

Body Language Analysis No. 4393: El Paso Mass Shooter - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Body Language Analysis No. 4392: The Secret Tells behind Donald Trump's Statement, "No Puppet. No Puppet. You're the Puppet"

Body Language Analysis No. 4364: Vladimir Putin's and Mohammed bin Salman's High Five at the G20

Body Language Analysis No. 4316: Sarah Paulson, The Met Gala, and Madonna

Body Language Analysis No. 4295: Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos, and Red Flags


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Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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United_States_Syria_68687President Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.
          

Trump defends decision to withdraw troops from Syria amid GOP criticism   

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President Trump vigorously defended on Monday his decision to withdraw United States troops from northern Syria ahead of a planned invasion of the region by Turkey, even as his Republican allies in both the Senate and House vehemently criticized the move.
          

Trump Defends Syria Policy in Series of Wild, Authoritarian Tweets   

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He boasted of his “great and unmatched wisdom” and threatened to obliterate Turkey’s economy if the country displeases him.

          

Trump defends major policy shift in Syria   

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U.S. President Donald Trump defended his decision to withdraw American forces from northeastern Syria which critics say has effectively opened the door for a Turkish incursion.
          

The Latest: Trump defends decision to abandon Kurds in Syria   

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WASHINGTON (AP) " The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from northern Syria (all times local):8:50 p.m.President Donald Trump is casting his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East.But Republican critics and others say he is sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.Trump has declared U.S. troops will step aside for an expected [...]
          

Trump Defends Decision to Pull U.S. Forces From Syria   

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President Donald Trump defended his decision to pull U.S. forces from Northern Syria.


          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

Even Trump’s staunchest Republican congressional allies expressed outrage at the prospect of abandoning Syrian Kurds who had fought the Islamic State group with American arms and advice. It was the latest example of Trump’s approach to foreign policy that critics condemn as impulsive, that he sometimes reverses and that frequently is untethered to the advice of his national security aides.

“A catastrophic mistake,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican leader. “Shot in the arm to the bad guys,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Trump said he understood criticism from fellow GOP leaders but disagreed. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn’t.

Pentagon and State Department officials held out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. U.S. officials said they had seen no indication that Turkey had begun a military operation by late Monday.

Trump, in late afternoon remarks to reporters, appeared largely unconcerned at the prospect of Turkish forces attacking the Kurds, who include a faction he described as “natural enemies” of the Turks.

“But I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane ... they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy,” Trump said.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Graham said Turkey’s NATO membership should be suspended if it attacks into northeastern Turkey, potentially annihilating Kurdish fighters who acted as a U.S. proxy army in a five-year fight to eliminate the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. Graham, who had talked Trump out of a withdrawal from Syria last December, said letting Turkey invade would be a mistake of historic proportion and would “lead to ISIS reemergence.”

This all comes at a pivotal moment of Trump’s presidency. House Democrats are marching forward with their impeachment inquiry into whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking negative information on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, from Ukraine and other foreign countries.

As he faces the impeachment inquiry, Trump has appeared more focused on making good on his political pledges, even at the risk of sending a troubling signal to American allies abroad.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as rapidly as possible,” he said.

The strong pushback on Capitol Hill prompted Trump to recast as well as restate his decision, but with renewed bombast and self-flattery.

He promised to destroy the Turkish economy “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.”

Sunday night the White House had said the U.S. would get its troops out of the way of the Turkish forces. That announcement came after Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

One official described that White House announcement as a botched effort appeared aimed at making Trump look bold for ending a war. The official said attempts by the Pentagon and State Department to make the statement stronger in its opposition to Turkey’s military action were unsuccessful.

That official, like others interviewed, was not authorized to speak on the record and was granted anonymity to comment.

The official added that Erdogan appeared to be reconsidering his earlier resolve because he was relatively quiet Monday.

But damage done to relations with the Kurds could be irreparable.

An official familiar with the Erdogan call said the Turkish president was “ranting” at Trump, saying the safe zone was not working and that Turkey couldn’t trust the U.S. military to do what was needed. And in reaction, Trump said the U.S. wanted no part of an invasion and would withdraw troops.

The announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into U.S. relations with European allies. A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity on a sensitive topic, said France wasn’t informed ahead of time. A Foreign Ministry statement warned Turkey to avoid any action that would harm the international coalition against the Islamic State and noted the Kurds had been essential allies. It entirely omitted any mention of the United States.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

Trump defended his latest decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

In his later remarks, Trump asserted that American troops in Syria are not performing useful work. They are, he said, “not fighting.” They are “just there,” he said.

Among the first to move were about 30 U.S. troops from two outposts who would be in the immediate area of a Turkish invasion. It’s unclear whether others among the roughly 1,000 U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would be moved, but officials said there was no plan for any to leave Syria entirely.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria would be a major boost to Russia’s position there.

He added that other allies in the region, including the Kurds, will “look at this withdrawal as U.S. unwillingness to stand up for its rights and maintain its alliances in the region.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., another strong Trump supporter, said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he had concerns.

“I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,” he said, adding that, “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”

Former Trump administration officials also expressed concern.

Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. “must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. ... Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.

___

With contributions from Associated Press writers Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul; Zeina Karam and Sarah El Deeb in Beirut; and Lori Hinnant in Paris.


          

Trump defends decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria ahead of Turkey incursion as GOP leaders push back   

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President Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull back U.S. troops from northern Syria drew quick, strong criticism Monday from some of his closest allies in Congress. It was condemned, too, by Kurdish fighters who would be abandoned to face a likely Turkish assault after fighting alongside Americans...


          

Trump defends decision to pull back troops in Syria as GOP leaders push back   

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The move drew immediate outrage from some of the president's closest allies in Congress, with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham calling the decision "a disaster."
          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

Even Trump’s staunchest Republican congressional allies expressed outrage at the prospect of abandoning Syrian Kurds who had fought the Islamic State group with American arms and advice.

“A catastrophic mistake,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican leader. “Shot in the arm to the bad guys,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Trump said he understood criticism from fellow GOP leaders but disagreed. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn’t.

Pentagon and State Department officials held out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. U.S. officials said they had seen no indication that Turkey had begun a military operation by late Monday.

Trump, in late afternoon remarks to reporters, appeared largely unconcerned at the prospect of Turkish forces attacking the Kurds, who include a faction he described as “natural enemies” of the Turks.

“But I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane … they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy,” Trump said.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Graham said Turkey’s NATO membership should be suspended if it attacks into northeastern Turkey, potentially annihilating Kurdish fighters who acted as a U.S. proxy army in a five-year fight to eliminate the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. Graham, who had talked Trump out of a withdrawal from Syria last December, said letting Turkey invade would be a mistake of historic proportion and would “lead to ISIS reemergence.”

This all comes at a pivotal moment of Trump’s presidency. House Democrats are marching forward with their impeachment inquiry into whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking negative information on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, from Ukraine and other foreign countries.

As he faces the impeachment inquiry, Trump has appeared more focused on making good on his political pledges, even at the risk of sending a troubling signal to American allies abroad.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as rapidly as possible,” he said.

The strong pushback on Capitol Hill prompted Trump to recast as well as restate his decision, but with renewed bombast and self-flattery.

He promised to destroy the Turkish economy “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.”

Sunday night the White House had said the U.S. would get its troops out of the way of the Turkish forces. That announcement came after Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

One official described that White House announcement as a botched effort appeared aimed at making Trump look bold for ending a war. The official said attempts by the Pentagon and State Department to make the statement stronger in its opposition to Turkey’s military action were unsuccessful.

That official, like others interviewed, was not authorized to speak on the record and was granted anonymity to comment.

The official added that Erdogan appeared to be reconsidering his earlier resolve because he was relatively quiet Monday. But damage done to relations with the Kurds could be irreparable.

An official familiar with the Erdogan call said the Turkish president was “ranting” at Trump, saying the safe zone was not working and that Turkey couldn’t trust the U.S. military to do what was needed. And in reaction, Trump said the U.S. wanted no part of an invasion and would withdraw troops.

The announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into U.S. relations with European allies. A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity on a sensitive topic, said France wasn’t informed ahead of time. A Foreign Ministry statement warned Turkey to avoid any action that would harm the international coalition against the Islamic State and noted the Kurds had been essential allies. It entirely omitted any mention of the United States.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

Trump defended his latest decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

In his later remarks, Trump asserted that American troops in Syria are not performing useful work. They are, he said, “not fighting.” They are “just there,” he said.

Among the first to move were about 30 U.S. troops from two outposts who would be in the immediate area of a Turkish invasion. It’s unclear whether others among the roughly 1,000 U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would be moved, but officials said there was no plan for any to leave Syria entirely.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria would be a major boost to Russia’s position there.

He added that other allies in the region, including the Kurds, will “look at this withdrawal as U.S. unwillingness to stand up for its rights and maintain its alliances in the region.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., another strong Trump supporter, said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he had concerns.

“I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,” he said, adding that, “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”

Former Trump administration officials also expressed concern.

Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. “must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. … Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.


          

Trump Defends Decision To Abandon Kurdish Allies Fighting ISIS In Syria   

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"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to ... figure the situation out," the president tweeted.
          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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The US president threatens to destroy Turkey’s economy if it does anything he considers ‘off limits’.
          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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The US president threatens to destroy Turkey’s economy if it does anything he considers ‘off limits’.
          

President Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, sending a troubling message to American allies across the globe.


          

Trump defends Syria decision: U.S. military 'not a police force'   

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President Trump on Monday defended his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeast Syria, saying "it's time" to bring them home despite widespread criticism from Republican allies and Kurdish fighters who say they've been put in harm's way.

The hardest part of his job, he said, is signing letters ...

          

Donald Trump defends decision on Syria, says he was elected to get out of 'endless wars'   

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President Trump on Monday defended his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northeast Syria, saying he is keeping his pledge to get Americans out of "endless wars."

Mr. Trump was pushing back on critics from both parties, who said his move would be a recipe for disaster and put ...

          

10 Things to Know for Tuesday   

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1. TRUMP DEFENDS DECISION TO ABANDON KURDISH ALLIES IN SYRIA The president casts his decision as fulfilling a campaign promise, but critics say he is sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility. Turkey, meanwhile, says it won’t bow to Trump’s threats on its military intentions. 2. TRUMP ENVOY TO TESTIFY IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY A […]
          

Trump defends decision to withdraw troops from Syria amid GOP criticism   

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Trump defends U.S. relations with Turkey after bipartisan backlash   

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to defend Washington's relationship with Turkey after a bipartisan backlash over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeastern Syria.

          

Trump Defends Syria Withdrawal, Says U.S. Not Abandoning Allies in Region…   

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Trump Defends Syria Withdrawal, Says U.S. Not Abandoning Allies in Region…
          

Trump Defends US Troop Withdrawal From Syria: Other Nations, Kurds Must 'Figure the Situation Out'   

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(Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images) (CNSNews.com) - President Trump on Monday defended the White House announcement that U.S. troops are moving out of northern Syria ahead of a planned invasion by Turkey.
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