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Trump Caves to Erdogan & Mulvaney Admits a Quid Pro Quo

What a humiliating week this has been for the nation and we still have to get through Friday.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan owns Donald Trump and he knows it. Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence to negotiate an end to Turkey's invasion of N. Syria and Erdogan ended up with everything he could hope for. The deal seals Turkey's gains and forces the Kurds to abandon their homes and villages along the border.

New York Times: "The cease-fire agreement reached with Turkey by Vice President Mike Pence amounts to a near-total victory for Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who gains territory, pays little in penalties and appears to have outmaneuvered President Trump." ...
“This just looks like a complete cave-in by the United States to everything the Turks demanded,” said Eric S. Edelman, a former ambassador to Turkey and a senior Defense Department official in the George W. Bush administration. “I don’t see what the Turks gave up.”

To make matters worse, just hours after Pence left, Turkey denied that a cease fire had been reached, calling it merely "a pause." And, apparently the pause was short because multiple sources are reporting Turkish attacks on Kurdish-held positions this morning.

The entire Syrian situation is a stain on America which won't go away any time soon. No American ally will forget how casually Trump abandoned the Kurds.

Wash. Post: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday harshly criticized President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria, describing the move as “a bloodstain in the annals of American history.”

Admiral William McRaven, former commander of the United States Special Operations Command, laid out the consequences of Trump's decisions in Syria.

McRaven, New York Times: "If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military? And if they don’t join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?"

On the home front, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, apparently didn't get the memo about there being no quid pro quo for the aid money Congress appropriated to Ukraine. Mulvaney told reporters that the Trump administration withheld $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate an old conspiracy theory about a Democratic National Committee server that was hacked by Russian agents ending up in Ukraine. It's possible that Mulvaney thought that he was helping the President by not admitting the deal with Ukraine involved finding dirt on the Bidens. However, after realizing his mistake, he tried to walk back his statement saying there was no quid pro quo. That just added fuel to the fire.

CNBC: "Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who heads the House Intelligence Committee and who is playing a leading role in the impeachment probe, when asked about Mulvaney’s admission of a quid pro quo, said, “With his acknowledgement now that military aid to a vital ally, a ally battling Russia as we speak, was withheld in part out of a desire by the president to have Ukraine investigate the DNC server or Democrats or 2016, things have just gone from very, very bad to much, much worse."
"The idea that vital military assistance would be withheld for such a patently political reason for the reason of serving the president’s reelection campaign is a phenomenal breach of the president’s duty to defend our national security and I hope that every member, Democrat and Republican, will speak out and condemn this illicit action by the president and his chief of staff.”

And, if all that wasn't enough for one day, at the same news conference yesterday Mulvaney announced that the administration had selected Trump's Doral resort in Miami for the G-7 summit next June. Is anyone surprised?

#news #Trump #Syria #impeachment

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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