syria

Graham says he’ll introduce Turkey sanctions after Trump orders U.S. troops out of Kurdish territory
Graham, Rubio, Romney and former White House officials blast decision as betrayal of Kurds and bad omen for all allies

Syrian Kurds gather around a US armored vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on Sunday. (Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday he and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if it crosses the Syrian border and attacks Kurdish forces, after President Donald Trump said late Sunday that he was withdrawing U.S. troops from the border region.

“I hope and expect sanctions against Turkey — if necessary — would be veto-proof,” Graham said.

White House plans to cut refugee admittance to all-time low

The Statue of Liberty in New York City is seen through fencing on Aug. 14, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration announced on Thursday plans to slash its refugee admittance program by almost half next year, the lowest cap since the refugee system was created in 1980.

The White House said it would admit no more than 18,000 refugees for the next fiscal year, a drop from its current limit of 30,000 and a plunge from the 110,000 admitted in 2016 under President Barack Obama’s final year in office.

Another West Wing departure leaves Kushner taking point on Middle East peace
Official: Presidential son-in-law, ‘a few others’ will try to fill void left by Greenblatt’s exit

Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, steps out of the vice president's office in the Senate Reception Room to take a phone call. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump announced White House Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt is leaving the administration, essentially handing presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner the task of completing an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

“Jason has been a loyal and great friend and fantastic lawyer........His dedication to Israel and to seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians won’t be forgotten. He will be missed,” Trump tweeted in announcing Greenblatt’s departure.

Amid Epstein child sex scandal, Trump doesn’t rule out firing Secretary Acosta
About 2007 plea deal, president says he will ‘look at it very carefully’

Alex Acosta, center, then-nominee for secretary of Labor, talks with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, after the senators introduced him during his Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions confirmation hearing in March 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday left open the possibility that he might fire Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over a plea deal he struck last decade with accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein after top congressional Democrats called for his ouster.

Acosta has been an “excellent secretary of Labor,” Trump said. But the president stopped short of saying Acosta would remain a part of his Cabinet as yet another scandal has engulfed his administration.

Qatar has ties to Iran, but Trump eyes ‘investments’ ahead of talks with emir
President didn’t mention Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace plan during dinner for al-Thani

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., in May. He meets with the emir of Qatar, who has ties to Iran amid tensions with that Middle East power. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Escalating a name-calling feud with your closest ally’s envoy to your government and threatening another with trade penalties is an unconventional way to build a coalition. But amid tensions with Iran, President Donald Trump is doing just that.

The U.S. leader is slated to meet privately Tuesday afternoon with Qatar’s ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office. The duo will have no shortage of things to discuss, from how to combat Iran’s increasingly aggressive actions related to its nuclear program to Qatar’s ongoing spat with some close American allies.

Trump admits he lacks exit strategy for an Iran war
Candidate Trump harshly criticized ‘stupid wars’ in Middle East that U.S. couldn’t untangle

Peshmerga fighters are seen driving along the frontline outside the town of Altun Kubri on October 23, 2017 in Altun Kubri, Iraq. President Donald Trump long criticized George W. Bush and Barack Obama for their lack of exit strategies in the Middle East. Now, he might need one for war with Iran. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump admitted Tuesday he has no plan for how to get out of war with Iran if one breaks out, even though he campaigned on ending protracted American wars in the Middle East that he long has called “stupid.”

Hours after he responded to insults by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani by warning him of “obliteration” if a shooting conflict starts, CQ Roll Call asked Trump this during an unrelated event in the Oval Office: “Do you have an exit strategy for Iran, if war does break out?”

U.S.-Iran confrontation escalates as Trump threatens ‘obliteration’ after Rouhani’s insult
Schumer: ‘The danger of bumbling into war is acute‘

Then-Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., conduct a news conference in the Capitol after a briefing with senators on the Iran nuclear deal in September 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Responding to Iranian officials calling his White House “mentally retarded,” President Donald Trump called their latest statement “ignorant and insulting” before warning them he is prepared to use “great and overwhelming force” against their country.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the same televised Tuesday address that included an insult for Trump and his staff to say new sanctions the Trump administration slapped on some of their top leaders “useless.” He sharply criticized Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, as “a source of belligerence and aggression” in the region. (Bolton for years has advocated a U.S. policy of seeking regime change in Tehran.)

With Iran reversal, did Trump break pledge to never ‘telegraph’ military ops?
‘He basically called them up and told them what he was going to do,’ military expert says

Navy Lt. Rob Morris watches as an F/A-18F Super Hornet lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea on May 30. The Lincoln strike group is in the Middle East amid tensions with Iran. (Photo by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Amber Smalley)

Iran’s military got a glimpse of how President Donald Trump would attack their country despite his years-old pledge never to “telegraph” U.S. military operations to an enemy.

My administration will not telegraph exact military plans to the enemy,” then-candidate Donald Trump said on Aug. 15, 2016 — less than three months before he was elected president.

As Turkish leader courts Russia, U.S. prepares to cut ties
House appropriators expected to soon approve provision in defense spending bill to remove Turkey from F-35 program.

An F-35 fighter jet taxies out for a training mission at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, the first base to get combat-ready F-35s in 2017. (George Frey/Getty Images file photo)

Jilted by the United States, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, has found a new friend, and possibly a new defense patron, in Washington’s longtime nemesis, Vladimir Putin.

For the United States, a NATO ally cozying up to Russia is more than an inconvenience. It’s a national security threat.

Trump heads to Pennsylvania, where China trade war is hitting home
State leaders: Tariff tussle hurts local manufacturers, farmers and consumers

President Donald Trump, here speaking to reporters on April 27 at the White House, is headed to battleground Pennsylvania on Monday even as his China trade war is hurting farmers and manufacturers there. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump heads to Pennsylvania on Monday evening — another battleground state vital to his chances of winning a second term. But Air Force One will touch down in Montoursville for a campaign rally just when his trade war with China is squeezing many of his core supporters there.

Trump has complicated his own quest to reassemble the Electoral College map he cobbled together in 2016 by slapping tariffs on Chinese-made products, according to political strategists, some lawmakers and state officials. The Keystone State is a prime example as China’s retaliatory levies are hitting its manufacturers, farmers and consumers particularly hard.