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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 96)

Turkey Launches Invasion Into Northeast Syria

Westlake Legal Group 5d9de38420000069054fec54 Turkey Launches Invasion Into Northeast Syria

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies have launched their military operation into northeastern Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding that the offensive aimed to eliminate a “terror corridor” along the southern Turkish border.

Erdogan said the offensive, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring”, would aim to eliminate threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Islamic State militants, and enable the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey after the formation of a “safe zone” in the area.

“Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,” Erdogan said on Twitter. “We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay)

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DHS secretary on being shouted off stage by protesters at Georgetown: I’m disappointed but ‘not surprised’

Westlake Legal Group dhs-secretary-f-and-f DHS secretary on being shouted off stage by protesters at Georgetown: I'm disappointed but 'not surprised' Julia Musto fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics/executive/homeland-security fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 85c08cb2-7a65-5027-a571-2b0c22669816

Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that he was “disappointed” but “not surprised” after getting shouted off the stage by protesters at Georgetown Law Center’s annual immigration conference.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends,” McAleenan told hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade that, “part of the irony here is that this is supposed to be a group of immigration law experts who wanted to hear the facts of what’s happening on the border. The facts of what’s broken about our immigration system.”

“I was going to challenge them on how we could talk and start a dialogue about how to fix it,” said McAleenan. “But, apparently [I] didn’t get that opportunity.”

“I was there [for] probably eight minutes,” he surmised. “I wasn’t going to be intimidated or deterred and we had a good message to share.”

BORDER APPREHENSIONS DOWN FOR FOURTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH

McAleenan said that he had wanted to challenge those “operating in the immigration law space, especially on the advocate and activist side, to show them what’s broken about this system and why we still need Congress to act to help fundamentally change the dynamic.”

However, when it was clear that Georgetown Law Center was “not going to change that direction of that dialogue,” McAleenan recognized it was “time to go.”

The Law Center has since released a statement sharing McAleenan’s regret, saying “Georgetown is deeply committed to freedom of speech and expression.”

In a written statement released afterward, DHS echoed those concerns: “The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to free speech and assembly. Unfortunately, that right was robbed from many who were scheduled to speak and attend today’s event at Georgetown. Unfortunately, the Acting Secretary and the audience did not get the opportunity to engage in a robust dialogue this morning due to the disruptions of a few activists.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

The DHS, which published the secretary’s prepared remarks, said those in attendance would have “learned more about DHS’s successful strategy to work with international partners to reduce unlawful migration and end the exploitation of children by smugglers and cartels, and then they would have had the opportunity to participate in an unmoderated question and answer session.”

Nevertheless, McAleenan said that the department would continue on and “make progress on the agenda,” boasting strengthened partnerships with Mexico and Guatemala to stem the tide of migrants at the southern border.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group dhs-secretary-f-and-f DHS secretary on being shouted off stage by protesters at Georgetown: I'm disappointed but 'not surprised' Julia Musto fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics/executive/homeland-security fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 85c08cb2-7a65-5027-a571-2b0c22669816   Westlake Legal Group dhs-secretary-f-and-f DHS secretary on being shouted off stage by protesters at Georgetown: I'm disappointed but 'not surprised' Julia Musto fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/politics/executive/homeland-security fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 85c08cb2-7a65-5027-a571-2b0c22669816

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Turkey launches military offensive in Syria after Trump pulls back US troops

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Turkey launches military offensive in Syria after Trump pulls back US troops

President Donald Trump defended a plan to move U.S. troops out of Northern Syria despite a backlash Monday from the GOP. USA TODAY

Turkish forces have launched a military offensive into Kurdish-controlled parts of Syria, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s president, said Wednesday.

“The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria,” Erodgan announced on Twitter. “Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area.”

The move comes in defiance of international criticism and just days after President Donald Trump announced U.S. troops supporting Kurdish forces in the area would be pulled back from the border zone.

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish government’s chief spokesman, said Turkey seeks to “neutralize” Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria and to “liberate the local population from the yoke of the armed thugs.” He made those comments in an op-ed in the Washington Post.

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‘A reckless gamble’: Four reasons critics decry Trump’s ‘impulsive’ Syria withdrawal

Syria’s Kurds have partnered with U.S.-led coalition forces in northeastern Syria fighting the Islamic State group for nearly four years. But Turkey considers some of them to be militants linked to outlawed Kurdish rebels within Turkey who have for years waged a campaign of terror aimed at securing their autonomy from Ankara. 

Who are the Kurds?: A Middle Eastern people with ‘no friends but the mountains’

Trump has threatened to punish Turkey economically if it does “anything outside of what we think is humane.” However, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have condemned Trump’s actions, arguing that it not only poses a threat to a key U.S. ally but endangers the campaign against the Islamic State.

Syria’s Kurds have also been running detention centers in the region that are holding thousands of former Islamic State militants and their families.  

In a statement late Tuesday, the General Command of the Syrian Defense Forces — the group that’s been working with U.S. troops — said the border areas of northeast Syria “are on the edge of a possible humanitarian catastrophe …  This attack will spill the blood of thousands of innocent civilians because our border areas are overcrowded.” 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/10/09/turkeys-syria-offensive-imminent-after-trump-pulls-u-s-troops-back/3916434002/

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Turkey Launches Operation Into Northeast Syria, Erdogan Says

Westlake Legal Group 5d9de38420000069054fec54 Turkey Launches Operation Into Northeast Syria, Erdogan Says

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies have launched their military operation into northeastern Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding that the offensive aimed to eliminate a “terror corridor” along the southern Turkish border.

Erdogan said the offensive, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring”, would aim to eliminate threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Islamic State militants, and enable the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey after the formation of a “safe zone” in the area.

“Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area,” Erdogan said on Twitter. “We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay)

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Matt Lauer Accused Of Raping NBC Staffer In Incident That Got Him Fired

Westlake Legal Group 5d9ddff42100005009acbc9b Matt Lauer Accused Of Raping NBC Staffer In Incident That Got Him Fired

Former “Today” show host Matt Lauer is accused of raping an NBC News employee in 2014, the incident that led to his firing in 2017, according to excerpts from journalist Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book.

Lauer’s accuser, Brooke Nevils, revealed her identity and details of her allegation, including that she was raped, in the book “Catch and Kill,” which Variety excerpted on Tuesday.

In 2017, NBC fired Lauer after an NBC News employee told network executives the “Today” host sexually assaulted her at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. At the time, she wished to remain anonymous for fear of personal safety and professional repercussions.

The same day Lauer was fired, Variety broke additional stories from multiple other women of Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct at NBC, and revealed that his alleged serial sexual predation was not a secret at the company.

Lauer emphatically denied the new allegations in a letter published Wednesday, in which he admits to having had an extramarital affair with Nevils but says the rape accusation is “dangerous and defamatory” and “categorically false.”

NBC News responded to the book excerpts Wednesday, calling his behavior “appalling, horrific and reprehensible,” the network said in a statement. “That’s why he was fired within 24 hours of us first learning of the complaint. Our hearts break again for our colleague.”

Lauer’s former colleagues, “Today” show hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, also responded on Wednesday’s broadcast of the show.

“This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it,” Guthrie said. “I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It’s not easy now, and we support her and any other women who have come forward with claims.”

“There are not allegations of an affair,” Kotb said. “They’re allegations of a crime. And I think that’s shocking to all of us here, who’ve sat with Matt for many, many years. I think we’re going to just sort of continue to process this part of this horrific story.”

According to Variety, Nevils told Farrow that Lauer anally raped her after a night of drinks with him and former “Today” show host Meredith Vieira, then a contributing host for the network’s Olympics coverage, and with whom Nevils was working at the time.

Nevils told Farrow that she went to Lauer’s hotel room to get her press credential. Lauer then invited her back for a second time, and she went because, according to Farrow, Nevils “had no reason to suspect Lauer would be anything but friendly based on prior experience.”

The excerpt from Variety goes on to detail the alleged rape.

Once she was in his hotel room, Nevils alleges, Lauer — who was wearing a T-shirt and boxers — pushed her against the door and kissed her. He then pushed her onto the bed, “flipping her over, asking if she liked anal sex,” Farrow writes. “She said that she declined several times.”

According to Nevils, she “was in the midst of telling him she wasn’t interested again when he ‘just did it,’” Farrow writes.

Nevils told Farrow that she informed many people about the incident, including her superiors. When she moved to a different part of the company, she also told one of her new bosses, but no one took action, according to the excerpt.

“This was no secret,” Farrow writes in the book, according to Variety.

It was only after October 2017, when Farrow — along with New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey — reported on the years of sexual abuse allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, catalyzing the Me Too movement, that Nevils’ story came to light.

According to Farrow’s book, NBC colleagues were reminded of Nevils’ claim and began asking her about it. She then told Vieira about the incident, who told her to get a lawyer and report the alleged rape to NBC’s HR department, which led to Lauer’s firing.

At the time, Nevils’ lawyer accused NBC of not doing enough to protect her and honor her request for confidentiality. Farrow’s book reveals that other employees were able to figure out that the anonymous accuser was Nevils.

When she left the network, according to Farrow, executives “proposed a script she would have to read, suggesting that she had left to pursue other endeavors, that she was treated well, and that NBC News was a positive example of sexual harassment.”

Lauer’s firing also exposed NBC’s mishandling of the allegations, as many staffers had warned leadership of Lauer’s alleged misconduct, but the network failed to act, citing the fact that no one made any formal complaints against him. However, an internal investigation detailed that many employees described a culture of fear.

“Catch and Kill” also details NBC News’ attempts to dissuade and impede Farrow ― then an employee ― from investigating Weinstein’s alleged serial sexual misconduct. Farrow later took that reporting to The New Yorker. His work, along with that of Kantor and Twohey, uncovered decades of allegations against the movie mogul and attempted cover-ups by him and the people in his orbit. The ensuing Me Too reckoning exposed other alleged sexual predators and powerful institutions that looked the other way, including Lauer and NBC News.

This story has been updated with Lauer’s denial.

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Snoop Dogg addresses controversial performance at Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball event

Westlake Legal Group Snoop-Dogg-AP Snoop Dogg addresses controversial performance at Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball event Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7136eaf3-58d6-5965-862c-7046d4537cc8

Snoop Dogg on Tuesday defended his controversial performance at a Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball event last weekend, which featured pole dancers, a money gun and explicit language.

The event took place at the legendary Allen Fieldhouse to kick off the Jayhawks’ 2019-20 season in Lawrence. About 16,300 people crowded the arena for the event. The school later apologized, but Snoop Dogg wondered what everyone was expecting when they booked him for the show.

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS APOLOGIZES FOR CONTROVERSIAL SNOOP DOGG SHOW

“The audience enjoyed that s—t,” Snoop said in an interview with radio host Howard Stern. “I don’t know what the f—k they talking about.”

He added that he wasn’t going to talk badly about the school.

“I think it was more the publicity of what I did,” Snoop said. “They had to cover it up. I respect them, and I wasn’t gonna put no smut on their name and say they did anything wrong because they invited me to come do what I do.”

He added: “And when you pay for Snoop Dogg, you gon’ get Snoop Dogg.”

MEMPHIS TIGERS’ PENNY HARDAWAY SETS BAR HIGH FOR YOUNG TEAM: ‘WE’RE GOING TO WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP’

University of Kansas athletic director Jeff Long issued an apology on Friday night over the performance.

“We apologize for the Snoop Dogg performance at Late Night,” Long said. “We made it clear to the entertainers’ managers that we expected a clean version of the show and took additional steps to communicate to our fans, including moving the artist to the final act of the evening, to ensure that no basketball activities would be missed if anyone did not want to stay for his show.”

He added: “I take full responsibility for not thoroughly vetting all the details of the performance and offer my personal apology to those who were offended. We strive to create a family atmosphere at Kansas and fell short of that this evening.”

During the event, Snoop Dogg performed some of his famous hits like “Gin and Juice,” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” complete with a team of pole dancers. He wore a Kansas Jayhawks Jersey and even shot fake money into the crowd, which ESPN reported featured his own face on the currency.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Kansas head coach Bill Self also issued an apology for the event while claiming the performance went a bit further than he expected.

Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group Snoop-Dogg-AP Snoop Dogg addresses controversial performance at Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball event Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7136eaf3-58d6-5965-862c-7046d4537cc8   Westlake Legal Group Snoop-Dogg-AP Snoop Dogg addresses controversial performance at Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball event Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 7136eaf3-58d6-5965-862c-7046d4537cc8

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In Trump, Turkey’s Erdogan Keeps Finding a Sympathetic Ear

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_162369690_a81ed3e0-463c-4034-a0ca-bc8b6ed05a53-articleLarge In Trump, Turkey’s Erdogan Keeps Finding a Sympathetic Ear United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Erdogan, Recep Tayyip

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey was invited to visit the White House in mid-November.CreditAndrej Cukic/EPA, via Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — Three times over the past year, President Trump has spoken with Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and told Mr. Erdogan what he wanted to hear.

Last December, Mr. Trump stunned his own national security team by abruptly deciding to pull American troops out of Syria, clearing the way for Mr. Erdogan’s long-sought incursion into the country.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump spoke again to his Turkish counterpart, and then issued a similar declaration. And in between the calls, in June, Mr. Trump came away from a meeting with Mr. Erdogan echoing Turkish talking points blaming President Barack Obama for the country’s purchase of a Russian missile system.

The relationship between the two prideful and blustery men has had its rocky patches — and its threats. Mr. Trump, facing backlash from Republicans on Monday, warned on Twitter that he would “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if Mr. Erdogan were to cross unspecified “limits” in Syria.

But American and Turkish officials alike describe an unusual partnership in which Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly guided Mr. Trump toward positions that pit him against his own national security advisers and Republicans allies. Analysts call it an oddity of their relationship that two naturally combative leaders, both prone to explosive public insults, seem to understand each other and believe they can sort things out by phone.

Mr. Erdogan will soon have the president’s ear again: Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Tuesday that the Turkish leader would visit the White House on Nov. 13. He also continued on Tuesday to defend his decision, tweeting that “in no way have we abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters.” Mr. Erdogan is one of several foreign strongmen who draw condemnation from human rights groups but with whom Mr. Trump appears to keen to do business. Both are man-of-the-people nationalists who have battled resistance from their respective security establishments.

While Mr. Trump rails against a bureaucratic “Deep State” seeking to overthrow him through investigations and impeachment, in 2016, Mr. Erdogan survived an actual military coup that turned bloody. The term “Deep State,” in fact, was first coined to describe the generals who long ruled Turkey from behind the scenes.

“They share a similar worldview, they dislike elites,” said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, the director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ office in the Turkish capital, Ankara. “Trump would probably like to govern the way Erdogan does.”

On Sunday, Mr. Erdogan even seemed to play a version of the Deep State card with his counterpart. According to the readout of Sunday’s telephone call released by Turkey’s presidential palace, Mr. Erdogan “shared with President Trump his frustration over the U.S. military and security bureaucracy’s failure to implement” an agreement between the two countries governing security in northern Syria.

Mr. Trump responded by telling Mr. Erdogan, much as he had in December, that he would be removing American troops from the area where the Turkish leader hoped to do battle with the Kurdish-led militia that has been critical American allies against the Islamic State. Turkey considers the militia a threat to its own borders and security.

Mr. Trump knows Turkey from his earlier life in real estate — he sold his brand name to the Trump Towers Istanbul in 2010 — but like presidents before him, he has struggled to devise a consistent policy toward the country.

Instead, he has focused on his personal relationship with Mr. Erdogan in conversations that people familiar with them describe as typically “fawning.” Mr. Trump usually begins by praising Mr. Erdogan, who is himself notorious for haranguing American presidents with grievances, according to those people.

“We have a great friendship as countries,” Mr. Trump said in an appearance with Mr. Erdogan that September. “I think we’re, right now, as close as we have ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship.” The following July, he was spotted fist-bumping the Turkish leader at a NATO summit in Brussels.

That chumminess has unsettled both appointed and elected officials suspicious of Mr. Erdogan’s repressive policies, Islamist sympathies and deepening relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nearly everyone agrees, however, that simply shunning the head of a NATO-member nation at the pivot point between East and West is not practical.

The Trump-Erdogan friendship has already survived at least one major test, when relations flared over Mr. Erdogan’s continued detention of an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, who was jailed for nearly two years in a widespread crackdown after a failed coup in Turkey. When Mr. Brunson was not freed as he expected, Mr. Trump announced in a hostile tweet that he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum and watching the Turkish lira slide.

After Mr. Brunson was freed last October, Mr. Trump expressed public gratitude to Mr. Erdogan for “making this possible.”

To some former United States officials who have worked closely with Mr. Erdogan’s government, the relationship between Mr. Trump and Mr. Erdogan is an unsolved puzzle.

“It’s not really clear to me what Trump, or the United States, gets out of this,” said Phil Gordon, who served at the State Department and on the National Security Council under Mr. Obama.

“It’s consistent with other seemingly inexplicable Trump actions that are more in line with Russian interests than with ours,” added Mr. Gordon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Even before their collective anger over Mr. Trump’s Sunday announcement about Syria, Senate Republicans had been frustrated with the president’s resistance to placing sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of the advanced Russian S-400 missile system. Congressional leaders call it a clear violation of a 2017 law requiring economic penalties on countries that purchase Russian arms.

With pressure mounting in Washington on Mr. Trump to enact sanctions, he sat down in June with Mr. Erdogan at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, where the Turkish leader argued that he had been forced to buy Russian arms because Mr. Obama had unreasonably blocked Turkish efforts to purchase the American-made Patriot missile.

Former Obama administration officials say the story is far more complicated, and that Mr. Erdogan had other options. But they said the Turkish leader had skilfully handed Mr. Trump, who revels in criticism of his predecessor, an ideal talking point as he deferred questions about whether he would impose sanctions.

“It’s a very tough situation that they’re in. And it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been placed in — the United States,” Mr. Trump said in mid-July, adding that “it’s not really fair.”

Mr. Trump did cancel the planned sale of more than 100 F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, whose operation in proximity to the Russian system NATO opposes on security grounds. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the law “requires” sanctions.

“Trump is trying really hard to avoid slapping sanctions on Turkey, and that’s partly because he’s trying to not rupture his relationship with Erdogan,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

A Pentagon spokesman on Tuesday challenged published reports that Mr. Trump’s decision to order American troops to move out of the area where Turkey plans an offensive surprised senior officials and said Mr. Trump had consulted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the days before talking to Mr. Erdogan.

But Pentagon officials said they had discussed Mr. Erdogan’s threats to invade northern Syria, and there was no prior hint about Mr. Trump ordering American troops to step aside and leave their Syrian Kurdish allies vulnerable to attack. In fact, the officials said, both Mr. Esper and General Milley warned their Turkish counterparts last week that any such cross-border operation would seriously damage United States-Turkey relations.

One senior Trump administration official on Monday said that it was troubling to some officials that Mr. Erdogan was not concerned about angering Mr. Trump, and that he appeared to feel he had autonomy to move into Syria.

In all the furor over Mr. Trump’s announcement, there has been a studied silence from Mr. Erdogan.

Likewise, Mr. Trump’s recent tweets — even those threatening Turkey’s economy with destruction — have avoided calling out Mr. Erdogan by name.

Michael Crowley reported from Washington, and Carlotta Gall from Istanbul. Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Eric Schmitt from Washington.

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In Trump, Turkey’s Erdogan Keeps Finding a Sympathetic Ear

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_162369690_a81ed3e0-463c-4034-a0ca-bc8b6ed05a53-articleLarge In Trump, Turkey’s Erdogan Keeps Finding a Sympathetic Ear United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Erdogan, Recep Tayyip

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey was invited to visit the White House in mid-November.CreditAndrej Cukic/EPA, via Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — Three times over the past year, President Trump has spoken with Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and told Mr. Erdogan what he wanted to hear.

Last December, Mr. Trump stunned his own national security team by abruptly deciding to pull American troops out of Syria, clearing the way for Mr. Erdogan’s long-sought incursion into the country.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump spoke again to his Turkish counterpart, and then issued a similar declaration. And in between the calls, in June, Mr. Trump came away from a meeting with Mr. Erdogan echoing Turkish talking points blaming President Barack Obama for the country’s purchase of a Russian missile system.

The relationship between the two prideful and blustery men has had its rocky patches — and its threats. Mr. Trump, facing backlash from Republicans on Monday, warned on Twitter that he would “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey” if Mr. Erdogan were to cross unspecified “limits” in Syria.

But American and Turkish officials alike describe an unusual partnership in which Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly guided Mr. Trump toward positions that pit him against his own national security advisers and Republicans allies. Analysts call it an oddity of their relationship that two naturally combative leaders, both prone to explosive public insults, seem to understand each other and believe they can sort things out by phone.

Mr. Erdogan will soon have the president’s ear again: Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Tuesday that the Turkish leader would visit the White House on Nov. 13. He also continued on Tuesday to defend his decision, tweeting that “in no way have we abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters.” Mr. Erdogan is one of several foreign strongmen who draw condemnation from human rights groups but with whom Mr. Trump appears to keen to do business. Both are man-of-the-people nationalists who have battled resistance from their respective security establishments.

While Mr. Trump rails against a bureaucratic “Deep State” seeking to overthrow him through investigations and impeachment, in 2016, Mr. Erdogan survived an actual military coup that turned bloody. The term “Deep State,” in fact, was first coined to describe the generals who long ruled Turkey from behind the scenes.

“They share a similar worldview, they dislike elites,” said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, the director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ office in the Turkish capital, Ankara. “Trump would probably like to govern the way Erdogan does.”

On Sunday, Mr. Erdogan even seemed to play a version of the Deep State card with his counterpart. According to the readout of Sunday’s telephone call released by Turkey’s presidential palace, Mr. Erdogan “shared with President Trump his frustration over the U.S. military and security bureaucracy’s failure to implement” an agreement between the two countries governing security in northern Syria.

Mr. Trump responded by telling Mr. Erdogan, much as he had in December, that he would be removing American troops from the area where the Turkish leader hoped to do battle with the Kurdish-led militia that has been critical American allies against the Islamic State. Turkey considers the militia a threat to its own borders and security.

Mr. Trump knows Turkey from his earlier life in real estate — he sold his brand name to the Trump Towers Istanbul in 2010 — but like presidents before him, he has struggled to devise a consistent policy toward the country.

Instead, he has focused on his personal relationship with Mr. Erdogan in conversations that people familiar with them describe as typically “fawning.” Mr. Trump usually begins by praising Mr. Erdogan, who is himself notorious for haranguing American presidents with grievances, according to those people.

“We have a great friendship as countries,” Mr. Trump said in an appearance with Mr. Erdogan that September. “I think we’re, right now, as close as we have ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship.” The following July, he was spotted fist-bumping the Turkish leader at a NATO summit in Brussels.

That chumminess has unsettled both appointed and elected officials suspicious of Mr. Erdogan’s repressive policies, Islamist sympathies and deepening relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nearly everyone agrees, however, that simply shunning the head of a NATO-member nation at the pivot point between East and West is not practical.

The Trump-Erdogan friendship has already survived at least one major test, when relations flared over Mr. Erdogan’s continued detention of an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, who was jailed for nearly two years in a widespread crackdown after a failed coup in Turkey. When Mr. Brunson was not freed as he expected, Mr. Trump announced in a hostile tweet that he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum and watching the Turkish lira slide.

After Mr. Brunson was freed last October, Mr. Trump expressed public gratitude to Mr. Erdogan for “making this possible.”

To some former United States officials who have worked closely with Mr. Erdogan’s government, the relationship between Mr. Trump and Mr. Erdogan is an unsolved puzzle.

“It’s not really clear to me what Trump, or the United States, gets out of this,” said Phil Gordon, who served at the State Department and on the National Security Council under Mr. Obama.

“It’s consistent with other seemingly inexplicable Trump actions that are more in line with Russian interests than with ours,” added Mr. Gordon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Even before their collective anger over Mr. Trump’s Sunday announcement about Syria, Senate Republicans had been frustrated with the president’s resistance to placing sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of the advanced Russian S-400 missile system. Congressional leaders call it a clear violation of a 2017 law requiring economic penalties on countries that purchase Russian arms.

With pressure mounting in Washington on Mr. Trump to enact sanctions, he sat down in June with Mr. Erdogan at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, where the Turkish leader argued that he had been forced to buy Russian arms because Mr. Obama had unreasonably blocked Turkish efforts to purchase the American-made Patriot missile.

Former Obama administration officials say the story is far more complicated, and that Mr. Erdogan had other options. But they said the Turkish leader had skilfully handed Mr. Trump, who revels in criticism of his predecessor, an ideal talking point as he deferred questions about whether he would impose sanctions.

“It’s a very tough situation that they’re in. And it’s a very tough situation that we’ve been placed in — the United States,” Mr. Trump said in mid-July, adding that “it’s not really fair.”

Mr. Trump did cancel the planned sale of more than 100 F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, whose operation in proximity to the Russian system NATO opposes on security grounds. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the law “requires” sanctions.

“Trump is trying really hard to avoid slapping sanctions on Turkey, and that’s partly because he’s trying to not rupture his relationship with Erdogan,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

A Pentagon spokesman on Tuesday challenged published reports that Mr. Trump’s decision to order American troops to move out of the area where Turkey plans an offensive surprised senior officials and said Mr. Trump had consulted Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the days before talking to Mr. Erdogan.

But Pentagon officials said they had discussed Mr. Erdogan’s threats to invade northern Syria, and there was no prior hint about Mr. Trump ordering American troops to step aside and leave their Syrian Kurdish allies vulnerable to attack. In fact, the officials said, both Mr. Esper and General Milley warned their Turkish counterparts last week that any such cross-border operation would seriously damage United States-Turkey relations.

One senior Trump administration official on Monday said that it was troubling to some officials that Mr. Erdogan was not concerned about angering Mr. Trump, and that he appeared to feel he had autonomy to move into Syria.

In all the furor over Mr. Trump’s announcement, there has been a studied silence from Mr. Erdogan.

Likewise, Mr. Trump’s recent tweets — even those threatening Turkey’s economy with destruction — have avoided calling out Mr. Erdogan by name.

Michael Crowley reported from Washington, and Carlotta Gall from Istanbul. Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Eric Schmitt from Washington.

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Lindsey Graham warns Trump on Syria troop withdrawal: ‘It’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency’

Westlake Legal Group trump Lindsey Graham warns Trump on Syria troop withdrawal: 'It'd be the biggest mistake of his presidency' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 427db948-1831-5a7d-98f5-3ba5b3d9b0e0

If President Trump follows through on his proposed troop withdrawal from Syria, it would be one of the biggest follies of his presidency and cause ISIS to reemerge in the region, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”

Trump tweeted about the issue on Wednesday and said the United States should never have been in the Middle East in the first place. He also put the onus on Turkey to stabilize the region and take up arms against any remaining ISIS elements.

SEN. GRAHAM WARNS SYRIA WITHDRAWAL WOULD BE ‘BIG WIN FOR ISIS,’ COMPARES TRUMP’S STRATEGY TO OBAMA

“That’s a pre-9/11 mentality that the Middle East is no concern to us,” Graham told Fox News. “I hope President Trump’s right. I hope we can turn the fight against ISIS over to Turkey. I hope that Turkey, when they go into Syria, they won’t slaughter the Kurds… If [Trump] follows through with this, it’d be the biggest mistake of his presidency.”

He claimed that if Trump doesn’t continue with safe zone border patrols, ISIS will fill the void and the fault will lie squarely with the Trump administration.

“I would argue for him to go back to the status quo,” Graham said. “The safe zones were working. Patrolling with Turkey and international forces to protect the Kurds and Turkey is the way to go. If we pull out, the Kurds are in a world of hurt and ISIS comes back, and President Trump will own it.”

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Turkish troops have reportedly crossed the border into Syria after Trump said he would destabilize the Turkish economy if they went too far.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)” Trump tweeted.

“They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!”

SYRIAN KURDISH FORCES CALL FOR ALL HANDS ON DECK AS TURKISH TROOPS REPORTEDLY CROSS BORDER

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Graham said former President Barack Obama made the same mistake with Iraq and encouraged Trump to stick with his current strategy because it was producing results.

“Obama did the same thing in Iraq,” he said. “The Trump way of doing business worked. We destroyed ISIS with the help of the Kurds… We can’t abandon the Kurds now. We can’t turn it over to Turkey. To think that will work is really delusional and dangerous.”

Westlake Legal Group trump Lindsey Graham warns Trump on Syria troop withdrawal: 'It'd be the biggest mistake of his presidency' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 427db948-1831-5a7d-98f5-3ba5b3d9b0e0   Westlake Legal Group trump Lindsey Graham warns Trump on Syria troop withdrawal: 'It'd be the biggest mistake of his presidency' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 427db948-1831-5a7d-98f5-3ba5b3d9b0e0

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Trump says he won’t pay $500K for MN rally. He still owes DC $9M.

Westlake Legal Group jJsYVKH-VQgMwV0NufpsS2cTFm0fXII4U1w9lgG5BNY Trump says he won't pay $500K for MN rally. He still owes DC $9M. r/politics

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