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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 419)

Democrats Slow Impeachment Timeline to Sharpen Their Public Case

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-impeach01-facebookJumbo Democrats Slow Impeachment Timeline to Sharpen Their Public Case United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Romney, Mitt Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — House Democrats have resigned themselves to the likelihood that impeachment proceedings against President Trump will extend into the Christmas season, as they plan a series of public hearings intended to make the simplest and most devastating possible public case in favor of removing Mr. Trump.

Democratic leaders had hoped to move as soon as Thanksgiving to wrap up a narrow inquiry focused around Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, buoyed by polling data that shows that the public supports the investigation, even if voters are not yet sold on impeaching the president.

But after a complicated web of damaging revelations about the president has emerged from private depositions unfolding behind closed doors, Democratic leaders have now begun plotting a full-scale — and probably more time-consuming — effort to lay out their case in a set of high-profile public hearings on Capitol Hill.

Their goal is to convince the public — and if they can, more Republicans — that the president committed an impeachable offense when he demanded that Ukraine investigate his political rivals.

“Just the facts baby,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “If we tell that story with simplicity and repetition, the American people will understand why the president must be held accountable. If we don’t, then there is great uncertainty, and in that vacuum Donald Trump may find himself escaping accountability again.”

Mr. Trump, increasingly embittered by the impeachment inquiry, complained on Monday that Republicans were not defending him aggressively enough.

“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Mr. Trump said during a rambling, hourlong question-and-answer session with reporters at a cabinet meeting. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight, because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we’re doing very well.”

The president belittled Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, one of the only members of his party who has signaled he may be open to impeaching Mr. Trump, underscoring how anxious the senator’s defection has made him about possible cracks in support from his own party.

Launching into a series of attacks on Democrats, Mr. Trump said approvingly that they were “vicious and they stick together. They don’t have Mitt Romney in their midst — they don’t have people like that.”

“They stick together,” Mr. Trump added. “You never see them break off.”

It was the second time in as many days that he has complained about a lack of support from Republicans.

“When do the Do Nothing Democrats pay a price for what they are doing to our Country, & when do the Republicans finally fight back?” Mr. Trump tweeted late Sunday night.

The president’s allies on Capitol Hill tried Monday to ramp up their defense of the president by forcing a vote in the House to censure Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who is leading the impeachment inquiry as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. The vote, which failed in the Democratic-led chamber, was a display of Republican solidarity for Mr. Trump.

There are risks for Democrats in the longer timeline, which could make it more difficult for lawmakers in politically competitive districts, who fear a backlash from constituents if they appear to be preoccupied with targeting Mr. Trump instead of addressing major issues such as gun safety or health care.

And Democrats are all too aware that Mr. Trump has succeeded in the past in steering the subject away from allegations of misconduct on his part, as he did with the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election conducted by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

This time, Democratic leaders hope to deny him the opportunity.

They have issued subpoenas to a growing cast of characters, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s private lawyer who is at the center of the Ukraine pressure campaign, and have demanded documents from Vice President Mike Pence. They have invited or compelled Trump administration officials past and present to appear at the Capitol before rolling television cameras, and cloistered them behind closed doors to extract a daily drip of testimony that backs up their case.

That effort continues Tuesday when William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, is scheduled to testify behind closed doors about text messages in which he wrote to other officials that it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” On Wednesday, investigators will question Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official, about decisions to hold up Ukraine’s military aid.

Several other depositions of administration officials have been delayed until next week because of events honoring Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who died last week, Democratic officials said.

To keep Republicans on the defensive in the interim, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a House vote last week on Mr. Trump’s decision to pull back American troops from Syria — which was widely panned by lawmakers in both parties — and will force a vote this week on measures to combat foreign election interference.

On Monday, Ms. Pelosi offered the latest bit of what has become a daily, sometimes hourly, stream of information to shape the Democrats’ argument, circulating a fact sheet for reporters entitled “Truth Exposed: The Shakedown, the Pressure Campaign and the Cover-up” to sum up what has been learned about the Ukraine affair so far, along with a 90-second video laying out the case for impeaching Mr. Trump.

Ms. Pelosi’s aides have advised lawmakers to avoid talking at length about bit players or subplots in the drama they are unspooling, emphasizing the need to return again and again to Mr. Trump’s own words from a July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. “Do Us a Favor,” a quote from a reconstructed transcript of that call, was the title of their video.

Democratic leaders have pushed lawmakers with backgrounds in law enforcement or national security to make television appearances to discuss the inquiry, including Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, a former C.I.A. analyst; Representative Val Demings of Florida, a former police chief; and Representative Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, a former State Department official.

“If we get mired in esoteric process concerns, we will lose the ability to tell a powerful story to the American people about the abuse of power that is connected to the Trump-Ukraine scandal,” Mr. Jeffries said.

Some Republicans, already uneasy about the allegations at the heart of the Ukraine inquiry, have grown increasingly uncomfortable with Mr. Trump’s behavior, and unwilling to defend him on a range of topics, including the Syria decision and his plan — abruptly abandoned in the face of a bipartisan outcry — to hold the Group of 7 summit of world leaders at one of his resorts in Florida.

The admission — later recanted — by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, of a quid pro quo linking foreign aid to Mr. Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, was a worrying piece of evidence for nervous Republicans that the president and his team are woefully unprepared to confront the impeachment onslaught.

Mr. Romney, a frequent Trump critic, has called the president’s attempts to solicit dirt on a political rival “wrong and appalling.”

While there is no evidence that other Republicans are taking their cues from Mr. Romney, he is not the only member of the party to publicly express concern. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said last week that a president should never “hold up foreign aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative. Period.” Representative Francis Rooney, Republican of Florida who announced that he will not run for re-election, declined to rule out supporting impeachment. John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio, said impeachment should move forward.

During his remarks at the White House, the president blasted House Democrats for pursuing impeachment, calling the effort to oust him “very bad for our country” and suggesting that dealing with the inquiry was getting in the way of more important issues.

“I have to fight off these lowlifes at the same time I’m negotiating these very important things,” Mr. Trump said.

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House Democrats Block Republican Effort To Censure Rep. Adam Schiff

Westlake Legal Group 5dae4733210000ba1e34a9eb House Democrats Block Republican Effort To Censure Rep. Adam Schiff

A Republican effort to censure House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was blocked by the chamber’s Democratic majority on Monday.

The House voted 218-185, along party lines, to stymie the measure, which was introduced last month by Republicans angered by the investigation into President Donald Trump’s July 25 “quid pro quo” call with the leader of Ukraine. The party had accused Schiff — one of the most well-known faces behind the impeachment inquiry — of “certain misleading conduct” in a largely symbolic attempt to voice their displeasure.

“Chairman Schiff is a great American patriot,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement after the vote. “Our country is extremely well-served by his serious, smart and strategic leadership to protect our elections, national security and democracy — which sadly stands in stark contrast to Republicans in the Congress.”

Reuters noted that just 23 House members have been censured since 1832. The political process forces lawmakers to stand before their colleagues and be publicly rebuked, but they are not expelled from the chamber. Lawmakers considered censuring Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) earlier this year for his long history of racist comments, but Democrats ultimately did not support that effort.

Schiff responded to the failure to censure him later Monday, writing that Republicans had failed to confront the president and instead targeted those seeking to uphold the law.

“It will be said of House Republicans, when they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, they consoled themselves by attacking those who did,” the lawmaker wrote on Twitter.

Republicans defended their effort on Monday, despite its failure, while the party as a whole begins to strengthen its defense of the president amid the impeachment inquiry. Trump’s July 25 call to the president of Ukraine partly triggered the inquiry when a whistleblower complaint revealed that, while he was holding up military aid, Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate a political rival.

“185 Republicans voted to move forward to condemn and censure Chairman Adam Schiff,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on Twitter. “Democrats instead chose to put politics over the truth. Shame on them.”

Trump has continued to rage against Schiff and Pelosi as the impeachment inquiry gathers steam, calling them “bad, bad people” and going so far as to suggest they should be impeached themselves (lawmakers can’t be impeached). During a Cabinet meeting Monday, the president raged against Schiff, calling him a “crooked politician” and “shifty.”

“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Trump said during Monday’s meeting. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we’re doing very well.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Jared Kushner, Steve Mnuchin To Attend Saudi Conference A Year After Khashoggi Murder

Westlake Legal Group 5dae5259200000571c50659f Jared Kushner, Steve Mnuchin To Attend Saudi Conference A Year After Khashoggi Murder

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to attend an economic conference in Saudi Arabia next week, according to several recent reports.

The Future Investment Initiative, dubbed “Davos in the Desert,” comes roughly a year after the Saudi royal government reportedly ordered the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi

The Washington Post first reported Kushner’s plans to attend the conference last month. Reports by The Associated Press and Quartz in recent days confirmed both he and Mnuchin are among the list of attendees.

Also scheduled to attend are Tom Barrack, a top Trump fundraiser and friend, David Malpass, the president of the World Bank, and Eric Cantor, the former Republican House majority leader who now serves as an executive at Moelis & Co., according to a guest list reviewed by The Washington Post. Senior executives from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and BlackRock are also expected to attend.

Many of these same guests, including Mnuchin, dropped out of last year’s conference in the wake of Khashoggi’s killing.

Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2, 2018, after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain a marriage document. He was a U.S. resident and a contributor to the Post at the time and had long been a critic of the Saudi royal government.

Foul play was immediately suspected in his disappearance, though Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman insisted he had played no role in the journalist’s murder.

A United Nations special rapporteur in June concluded that Khashoggi had been the “victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” and said there was “credible evidence” the crown prince had ordered the killing. The CIA came to a similar conclusion in November. 

Both Kushner and Trump have defended the crown prince, largely because they say Saudi Arabia is a vital ally and a key trading partner for oil.

As in previous years, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. is scheduled to host the Riyadh gathering next week in spite of numerous reports that the Saudi government has utilized its hotels to perpetrate human rights abuses. In 2017, the government imprisoned hundreds of rich Saudis in a supposed anti-corruption campaign while the crown prince consolidated power.

At least a dozen people were hospitalized after being tortured and physically abused during their stay at the Ritz. One Saudi military officer detained at the hotel later died in custody, according to The New York Times.

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House Democrats Block Republican Effort To Censure Rep. Adam Schiff

Westlake Legal Group 5dae4733210000ba1e34a9eb House Democrats Block Republican Effort To Censure Rep. Adam Schiff

A Republican effort to censure House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was blocked by the chamber’s Democratic majority on Monday.

The House voted 218-185, along party lines, to stymie the measure, which was introduced last month by Republicans angered by the investigation into President Donald Trump’s July 25 “quid pro quo” call with the leader of Ukraine. The party had accused Schiff — one of the most well-known faces behind the impeachment inquiry — of “certain misleading conduct” in a largely symbolic attempt to voice their displeasure.

“Chairman Schiff is a great American patriot,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement after the vote. “Our country is extremely well-served by his serious, smart and strategic leadership to protect our elections, national security and democracy — which sadly stands in stark contrast to Republicans in the Congress.”

Reuters noted that just 23 House members have been censured since 1832. The political process forces lawmakers to stand before their colleagues and be publicly rebuked, but they are not expelled from the chamber. Lawmakers considered censuring Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) earlier this year for his long history of racist comments, but Democrats ultimately did not support that effort.

Schiff responded to the failure to censure him later Monday, writing that Republicans had failed to confront the president and instead targeted those seeking to uphold the law.

“It will be said of House Republicans, when they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, they consoled themselves by attacking those who did,” the lawmaker wrote on Twitter.

Republicans defended their effort on Monday, despite its failure, while the party as a whole begins to strengthen its defense of the president amid the impeachment inquiry. Trump’s July 25 call to the president of Ukraine partly triggered the inquiry when a whistleblower complaint revealed that, while he was holding up military aid, Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate a political rival.

“185 Republicans voted to move forward to condemn and censure Chairman Adam Schiff,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on Twitter. “Democrats instead chose to put politics over the truth. Shame on them.”

Trump has continued to rage against Schiff and Pelosi as the impeachment inquiry gathers steam, calling them “bad, bad people” and going so far as to suggest they should be impeached themselves (lawmakers can’t be impeached). During a Cabinet meeting Monday, the president raged against Schiff, calling him a “crooked politician” and “shifty.”

“Republicans have to get tougher and fight,” Trump said during Monday’s meeting. “We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up, where we’re doing very well.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Elijah Cummings to ‘lie in state’ in Capitol’s Statuary Hall in new arrangement

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095562912001_6095561352001-vs Elijah Cummings to 'lie in state' in Capitol's Statuary Hall in new arrangement fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox news fnc/politics fnc e0412593-d9b7-5f0a-9835-33a925edb55b Chad Pergram article

The late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will “lie in state” this Thursday in Statuary Hall of the Capitol ahead of his funeral in Baltimore on Friday, officials announced.

Lawmakers from both parties are set to speak in remembrance of the House Oversight Committee chairman at a Statuary Hall arrival ceremony Thursday morning, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C.

In addition, a public viewing has been scheduled for this Wednesday at Morgan State University in Baltimore; the congressman had served on the university’s Board of Regents.

Cummings, a longtime congressman, civil rights leader and frequent foe of President Trump, died last Thursday at the age of 68 after complications from longstanding health problems.

The concept of having a decedent “lie in state” in Statuary Hall, the old House chamber, is new in Congress.

The Capitol Rotunda, located in the middle of the U.S. Capitol, and controlled by both the House and Senate, has been used periodically for major American figures to “lie in state.” Such was the case with the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and President George H.W. Bush in 2018, along with the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, in 2012. The late Rev. Billy Graham “laid in honor” in the Capitol Rotunda in early 2018. “Lying in honor” is considered one level below “lying in state.”

IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY WILL STAY ON TRACK, ACTING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIRWOMAN SAYS

Both the House and Senate have held various memorials for fallen members over the years. The late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., laid “in repose” in a flag-draped casket in the Senate chamber in 2010. The body of late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., also laid “in repose” in the Senate after he died in 2013.

Granted, the House has conducted various memorial services for former members in Statuary Hall over the years. Some of the most recent included former House Speaker Tom Foley, D-Wash., in 2013, former Rep. Mark Takai, D-Hawaii, in 2016, former House Minority Leader Bob Michel, R-Ill., in 2017 and former Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., the following year.

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However, bringing a casket into Statuary Hall for a service is a bit different. The closest modern models appeared to be what the Senate did with Byrd and Lautenberg. Though Cummings is to “lie in state,” his casket will reside neither in the Rotunda nor in the House chamber, officials have said. Usage of the Capitol Rotunda would require the adoption of a joint resolution by both the House and Senate, but since this service is scheduled to take place in a space controlled by the House, only the House must sign off on usage of Statuary Hall. However, Pelosi has chosen the designation of “lie in state” for Cummings.

The Senate on Monday approved a joint resolution, with the House expected to follow suit, for use of the catafalque for Cummings’ services in Statuary Hall. The catafalque is a wooden platform first used at the Capitol when President Lincoln lay in state, with his casket resting on top of it. The catafalque has has been used for most “state funerals” since.

Fox News’ Mike Arroyo contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095562912001_6095561352001-vs Elijah Cummings to 'lie in state' in Capitol's Statuary Hall in new arrangement fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox news fnc/politics fnc e0412593-d9b7-5f0a-9835-33a925edb55b Chad Pergram article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095562912001_6095561352001-vs Elijah Cummings to 'lie in state' in Capitol's Statuary Hall in new arrangement fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox news fnc/politics fnc e0412593-d9b7-5f0a-9835-33a925edb55b Chad Pergram article

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Lori Loughlin’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, are no longer USC students

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Lori Loughlin's daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, are no longer USC students

Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli pleading not guilty to bribery charges in the college admissions scandal. USA TODAY

In the wake of the college admissions scandal, actress Lori Loughlin‘s daughters are no longer students at the University of Southern California.

The USC Registrar said in a statement shared with USA TODAY that Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose Giannulli are not currently enrolled. The university was unable to provide additional information because of student privacy laws.

This news comes about seven months after USC confirmed that the sisters still were enrolled. In a statement shared in March, the school said: “USC is conducting a case-by-case review for current students and graduates that may be connected to the scheme alleged by the government and will make informed decisions as those reviews are completed.”

Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to a sham nonprofit of admission scheme mastermind Rick Singer in what investigators dubbed the “Varsity Blues” scandal. The parents had their two daughters classified as crew recruits for the university, a move that U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani saw as especially reprehensible, because it took seats away from deserving students. 

Actress Felicity Huffman, who was sentenced last month in the scandal, was ordered to spend 14 days in prison and pay a $30,000 fine. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud for paying $15,000 to have someone correct the SAT exam answers of her oldest daughter, Sophia.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling, who spoke in a rare television interview this month,”If (Loughlin) is convicted, I don’t think I’m giving away any state secrets by saying we would probably ask for a higher sentence for her than we did for Felicity Huffman,” he said. “The longer the case goes, let’s say she goes through to trial. If it’s after trial, I think certainly we’d be asking for something substantially higher. If she resolved her case short of trial, something a little lower than that. It’s tough to tell at this point.”

Loughlin has pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges and is preparing for trial.

From March: Olivia Jade, sister Isabella Giannulli are still enrolled at USC, college confirms

More: Olivia Jade’s former classmate describes ‘super-elite’ school with ‘insane’ expectations

Contributing: Joey Garrison, Bryan Alexander, Charles Trepany

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/celebrities/2019/10/21/college-admissions-scandal-lori-loughlins-daughters-have-left-usc/4059121002/

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For Trump the Dealmaker, Troop Pullouts Without Much in Return

Westlake Legal Group merlin_161567295_14c45ea0-0b76-4e8f-bb7b-1a6b2bc86d93-facebookJumbo For Trump the Dealmaker, Troop Pullouts Without Much in Return United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Turkey Trump, Donald J Syria South Korea North Korea Kurds Afghanistan War (2001- ) Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The Taliban have wanted the United States to pull troops out of Afghanistan, Turkey has wanted the Americans out of northern Syria and North Korea has wanted them to at least stop military exercises with South Korea.

President Trump has now to some extent at least obliged all three — but without getting much of anything in return. The self-styled dealmaker has given up the leverage of the United States’ military presence in multiple places around the world without negotiating concessions from those cheering for American forces to leave.

For a president who has repeatedly promised to end the “endless wars,” the decisions reflect a broader conviction that bringing troops home — or at least moving them out of hot spots — is more important than haggling for advantage. In his view, decades of overseas military adventurism has only cost the country enormous blood and treasure, and waiting for deals would prolong a national disaster.

But veteran diplomats, foreign policy experts and key lawmakers fear that Mr. Trump is squandering American power and influence in the world with little to show for it. By pulling troops out unilaterally, they argue, Mr. Trump has emboldened America’s enemies and distressed its allies. Friends like Israel, they note, worry about American staying power. Foes like North Korea and the Taliban learn that they can achieve their goals without having to pay a price.

“It’s hard for me to divine any real strategic logic to the president’s moves,” said John P. Hannah, a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. “The only real connective tissue I see is the almost preternatural isolationist impulse that he invariably seems to revert to when left to his own devices internationally — even to the point that it overrides his supposed deal making instincts.”

Reuben E. Brigety II, a former Navy officer and ambassador to the African Union under President Barack Obama who now serves as dean of the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University, said just as worrisome as the decisions themselves was the seemingly capricious way they were made.

Mr. Trump, he said, often seems more interested in pleasing autocrats like Kim Jong-un of North Korea and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey than in organizing any kind of coherent policymaking process to consider the pros and cons.

“When he canceled the South Korea military exercises, the only person he consulted was Kim Jong-un,” Mr. Brigety said. “The decision to abandon the Kurds came after a brief phone call with Erdogan. So they weren’t taken because he had personally reflected on the strategic disposition of American forces around the world. They were taken after he took the counsel of strongmen over that of his own advisers.”

All the complaints from the career national security establishment, however, carry little weight with Mr. Trump, who dismisses his critics as the same ones who got the country into a catastrophic war in Iraq. While that may not be true in all cases, Mr. Trump makes the case that 18 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it is time to pull out even without extracting trade-offs in return.

“When I watch these pundits that always are trying to take a shot, I say — they say, ‘What are we getting out of it?’” Mr. Trump told reporters on Monday as he hosted a cabinet meeting. “You know what we’re getting out of it? We’re bringing our soldiers back home. That’s a big thing. And it’s going to probably work. But if it doesn’t work, you’re going to have people fighting like they’ve been fighting for 300 years. It’s very simple. It’s really very simple.”

The United States has about 200,000 troops stationed around the world, roughly half of them in relatively less dangerous posts in Europe or Asia where American forces have maintained a presence since the end of World War II. Tens of thousands of others are deployed in the Middle East, although only a fraction of them are in the active war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

It took only a few dozen Special Forces operators near the border in northern Syria to deter Turkey from assaulting America’s Kurdish allies there, but soon after Mr. Trump talked with Mr. Erdogan on Oct. 6, the president announced on a Sunday night that they would be pulled back. Turkey then launched a ferocious attack on the Kurds, and by the time a convoy of American troops moved away over the weekend, they were shown in a widely circulated video being pelted by angry Kurds throwing potatoes to express their sense of betrayal.

Mr. Trump did not ask Mr. Erdogan for anything in exchange. Instead, the diplomacy came only after the Turkish incursion began when he sent Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara to broker a cease-fire to give the Kurds time to evacuate a new safe zone to be controlled by Turkey along the Syrian border. Mr. Erdogan essentially got what he wanted.

In Afghanistan, Mr. Trump’s special envoy spent months negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban militia that would provide guarantees that the country would not be used as a base for terrorist attacks against the United States if it reduced its troop presence to around 8,600. The talks fell apart, but Mr. Trump is drawing down American forces anyway, pulling out 2,000 troops in the last year, leaving 12,000 to 13,000. Plans are to keep shrinking the force to around 8,600 anyway.

In Asia, Mr. Trump voluntarily canceled traditional large-scale joint military exercises with South Korea at the behest of Mr. Kim even though the two have yet to reach any kind of concrete agreement in which North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons. The decision frustrated not only allies like South Korea and Japan but senior American diplomats and military officers, who privately questioned why North Korea should be given one of its key demands without having to surrender anything itself.

“Trump is a win-lose negotiator,” said Wendy R. Sherman, a former under secretary of state under Mr. Obama who helped broker the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran that Mr. Trump abandoned last year. “That’s what he did as a real estate developer. He doesn’t see the larger landscape, the interconnections, the larger costs, the loss of greater benefits.”

When he has sat down at the negotiating table, Mr. Trump’s record on the world stage has been mixed or incomplete. He has sealed an accord to update to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, revised a free-trade agreement with South Korea and reached a limited trade pact with Japan.

But in addition to the collapse of the Afghan talks, he has gotten nowhere in nuclear negotiations with North Korea, made no progress in a long, drawn-out Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, has yet to even reach the table with Iran despite his stated desire and remains locked in a high-stakes, big-dollar negotiation with China over tariffs.

For Mr. Trump, though, the desire to “end the endless wars,” as he puts it, may override his instinct for deal-making. He talks repeatedly about the misery of families whose loved ones have been killed in the Middle East or elsewhere, and he seems to put decisions about deployments in a different category than trade deals or other negotiations. Getting them out of harm’s way is an end to itself.

“We’re going to bring our soldiers back home,” Mr. Trump said on Monday. “So far, there hasn’t been one drop of blood shed during this whole period by an American soldier. Nobody was killed. Nobody cut their finger. There’s been nothing. And they’re leaving rather, I think, not expeditiously — rather intelligently.”

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Apple’s Tim Cook to serve as chairman at Chinese business school amid Hong Kong protests

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been appointed chairman of the advisory board for Tsinghua University’s economics school in Beijing, according to the South China Morning Post and a Chinese-language meeting summary noted by Apple Insider.

Cook will apparently assume the role for a three year term, and recently served as chairman for a meeting, the South China Morning Post reports.

As the Post reports, Chinese government officials have served on the board. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also served on the board in the past, the newspaper notes.

Still, the news comes at a time of widespread unrest in Hong Kong, as hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to demand political rights and police accountability.

SALESFORCE CEO SAYS FACEBOOK MUST BE BROKEN UP: ‘THEY’RE AFTER YOUR KIDS’

Westlake Legal Group tim-cook-getty-images Apple's Tim Cook to serve as chairman at Chinese business school amid Hong Kong protests fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/person/tim-cook fox news fnc/tech fnc efd00024-d516-53aa-a41a-a0e2f8c8617b Christopher Carbone article

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., is seen above. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Apple faced a bipartisan uproar recently when it took down a crowdsourced map of Hong Kong police presense from the App Store — that had been used by pro-democracy protesters — after the company was criticized in Chinese state media.

On Friday, a group of lawmakers that included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., sent a letter to Cook to express their “strong concern” about Apple’s “censorship of apps.”

“We urge you in the strongest terms to reverse course,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter, “to demonstrate that Apple puts values above market access, and to stand with the brave men and women fighting for basic rights and dignity in Hong Kong.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19293484465428 Apple's Tim Cook to serve as chairman at Chinese business school amid Hong Kong protests fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/person/tim-cook fox news fnc/tech fnc efd00024-d516-53aa-a41a-a0e2f8c8617b Christopher Carbone article

Protesters set fire to a Xiaomi shop at Nathan road in Hong Kong, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. Hong Kong protesters again flooded streets on Sunday, ignoring a police ban on the rally and setting up barricades amid tear gas and firebombs. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Cook, who reportedly met with Chinese regulators late last week, defended pulling the app in a letter to employees, writing: “Over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimize individuals and property where no police are present.”

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group tim-cook-getty-images Apple's Tim Cook to serve as chairman at Chinese business school amid Hong Kong protests fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/person/tim-cook fox news fnc/tech fnc efd00024-d516-53aa-a41a-a0e2f8c8617b Christopher Carbone article   Westlake Legal Group tim-cook-getty-images Apple's Tim Cook to serve as chairman at Chinese business school amid Hong Kong protests fox-news/tech/companies/apple fox-news/person/tim-cook fox news fnc/tech fnc efd00024-d516-53aa-a41a-a0e2f8c8617b Christopher Carbone article

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All US armored vehicles evacuating northeast Syria have arrived in Iraq, defense official says

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096573104001_6096578600001-vs All US armored vehicles evacuating northeast Syria have arrived in Iraq, defense official says Lucas Tomlinson Frank Miles fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article a1d7e256-4a42-5113-bad5-fe5500da7c3d

All roughly 100 U.S. armored vehicles evacuating northeast Syria in a convoy have arrived in Iraq, a U.S. defense official tells Fox News.

Earlier today in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said some U.S. troops will stay behind, and “remain in the towns that are located near the oil fields” in northeast Syria to protect them from ISIS, Syrian regime or Iranian forces.

Esper said the plan to guard the oil still needed President Trump’s approval.

A few hundred other U.S. troops will remain in southern Syria at a garrison near the border with Jordan, the president said last week in a statement.

“Our forces will remain in the towns that are located near the oil fields. The purpose of those forces, a purpose of those forces working with SDF, is to deny access to those oil fields by ISIS and others who may benefit from revenues that can be earned. I’ve made no decision with regard to various options. Those are things we would have to be presented to the president in due course,” Esper said earlier in the day.

US TROOPS LEAVING SYRIA FOR IRAQ IN ‘WEEKS NOT DAYS’, ESPER SAYS

The U.S. military convoy left over the weekend for the Iraqi border. They were met by Kurdish protesters in some cases pelting the trucks with rocks and tomatoes – anger over what they call a betrayal by Trump to leave them to be slaughtered by Turkish forces and mercenaries. Despite Trump saying he wanted to bring the forces home, Esper says the bulk of the roughly 700 U.S. troops in northeast Syria would be going to Western Iraq, not returning home to the U.S. Hundreds of other U.S. troops will remain in southern Syria.

Sunday, the top Kurdish general of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the main U.S. ally against ISIS in Syria told our colleague Jennifer Griffin in a phone interview from Syria that Turkey has violated the ceasefire negotiated by Vice President Mike Pence and Turkey’s president last week. More than 500 Kurdish civilians have been killed, and more than 400,000 displaced.

Gen. Mazloum Abdi said Turkey had tricked the U.S. by pulling back its troops from the border and having Kurdish forces destroy their bases before pulling back, as well. The joint U.S.-Turkish patrols near the border earlier this month gave valuable intelligence to Turkey to spy on Kurdish positions ahead of the invasion, Mazloum said.

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The oil fields have been the scene of fierce fighting. In February 2018 U.S. Special Operations soldiers and Kurdish forces came under attack, by a group of Russian mercenaries. U.S. apache gunships, fighter jets and bombers were called in to kill hundreds of the Russian and pro-Assad forces.

Trump hinted over the weekend about the plan by tweeting that US troops had “secured the Oil.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096573104001_6096578600001-vs All US armored vehicles evacuating northeast Syria have arrived in Iraq, defense official says Lucas Tomlinson Frank Miles fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article a1d7e256-4a42-5113-bad5-fe5500da7c3d   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096573104001_6096578600001-vs All US armored vehicles evacuating northeast Syria have arrived in Iraq, defense official says Lucas Tomlinson Frank Miles fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article a1d7e256-4a42-5113-bad5-fe5500da7c3d

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Andrew Yang rules out third-party or independent run if he’s not the Democratic nominee

Westlake Legal Group VmHZcoi38GDyarUbSdRA2fv059_Oik5rfswtAl8QLsg Andrew Yang rules out third-party or independent run if he’s not the Democratic nominee r/politics

“Hate” is not the word I’d use. I don’t trust him. He’s a businessman, he has no political experience, and it’s a struggle to find examples of him living his current, touted philosophy.

In a world where political deception is the norm, he presents a risk. This is of further concern when acknowledging that his message appeals to alt right in a weird way. I’m immediately skeptical of anyone who appeals to the alt-right because there are basically no issues for which I agree with them.

Lastly, I’m wary of a UBI. I believe we’re right to discuss it, and I’d love to see it studied rigorously before we apply such a thing. A UBI that replaces existing social safety nets is cause for concern, as it shifts the power of UBI in a regressive direction for many poor people who will see less of a benefit (relative to current safety nets) than the middle class who need it less. In such a scenario, I’d rather see a scaled basic income dependent on existing income.

Of course, it would be right to criticize a plan like mine on the merit that universality is much cheaper to implement since there’s no means testing, which is historically problematic. However, it feels like wasteful overkill to piss money on millions of people who genuinely don’t need it rather than seeing it go to infrastructure, the poor, healthcare, etc. All while deleting existing social safety nets, and you’ve got what I would call a dubious plan.

Not to say he’s wrong, evil, or has ulterior motives. Just that I don’t trust him as much as I would want to trust a candidate. So I’ll stick with Bernie who I could set a watch to as far as consistency and predictability goes. I trust him, and it’s not hard to. I’ll stick with Warren, whose actions in the senate have created a predictable trajectory, even if it’s shorter than Bernie’s.

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