The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Trump sparks firestorm over Syria

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Trump to pull troops from Syria | Move sparks new firestorm | GOP lawmakers slam decision | Trump defends leaving ‘ridiculous endless wars’ | Latest impeachment inquiry drama – House subpoenas Pentagon, budget office for Ukraine docs | GOP tiptoes around Trump defense | Trump suggests Pelosi committed treason | Judge rules against Trump over NY tax return subpoena | George W. Bush, Ellen DeGeneres watch Cowboys game together | Glenlivet unveils cocktail-filled seaweed capsules

  

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Trump tells Turkey to fly little birdie:

Via The New York Times’s Eric Schmitt, Maggie Haberman and Edward Wong, “In a major shift in United States military policy in Syria, the White House said on Sunday that President Trump had given his endorsement for a Turkish military operation that would sweep away American-backed Kurdish forces near the border in Syria.” https://nyti.ms/2Iup5QB

About the Kurds: “Turkey considers the Kurdish forces to be a terrorist insurgency and has long sought to end American support for the group.” 

Why President Trump’s decision is important: “Mr. Trump’s decision goes against the recommendations of top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department who have sought to keep a small troop presence in northeast Syria to continue operations against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to act as a critical counterweight to Iran and Russia.” 

  

U.S. troops are being pulled:

Via The Associated Press, U.S. troops have begun pulling out of northeastern Syria. Details: http://bit.ly/30S2fJf

  

This morning — Trump explained his Syria decision:

President Trump said it is time for the United States to get out of “ridiculous endless wars.” http://bit.ly/30Pxsgd

From his tweets: “The United States was supposed to be in Syria for 30 days, that was many years ago. We stayed and got deeper and deeper into battle with no aim in sight. When I arrived in Washington, ISIS was running rampant in the area. We quickly defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate.”

He also added: “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.” 

Read Trump’s full explanation: http://bit.ly/2OtVYAH 

 

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Republican lawmakers did not take Trump’s Syria decision well:

Several GOP lawmakers are warning that Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria will help U.S. adversaries, including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. http://bit.ly/2okC40o

From Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an ally of Trump: “I don’t know all the details regarding President Trump’s decision in northern Syria. In process of setting up phone call with Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo. If press reports are accurate this is a disaster in the making.” http://bit.ly/2pUSYU5

From Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): Rubio said the decision would be a “grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria. It would confirm #Iran’s view of this administration & embolden then to escalate hostile attacks which in turn could trigger much broader & more dangerous regional war.” 

From Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.): “Withdrawing US forces from Northern Syria is a catastrophic mistake that puts our gains against ISIS at risk and threatens US security. This decision ignores lesson of 9/11. Terrorists thousands of miles away can and will use their safe-havens to launch attacks against America.” http://bit.ly/2opBNt4

 

Nikki Haley WEIGHED IN: 

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed President Trump‘s decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria. http://bit.ly/2opCJh4

She tweeted: “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.” http://bit.ly/35dn851

 

It’s Monday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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LATEST WITH IMPEACHMENT TALKS

Just now — another subpoena:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “House Democrats on Monday subpoenaed the heads of the Defense Department and Office of Management and Budget for documents related to the Trump administration’s decision to withhold financial aid to Ukraine while the president pushed the allied nation for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.”  http://bit.ly/2MjmuKI

The deadline: Oct. 15

From Democrats’ statement: “The enclosed subpoena demands documents that are necessary for the committees to examine this sequence of these events and the reasons behind the White House’s decision to withhold critical military assistance to Ukraine that was appropriated by Congress to counter Russian aggression.”  

 

Pointing fingers all around:

Last night, President Trump called for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to be impeached for committing “treason.” http://bit.ly/2Or1jsH

He tweeted:Nancy Pelosi knew of all of the many Shifty Adam Schiff lies and massive frauds perpetrated upon Congress and the American people, in the form of a fraudulent speech knowingly delivered as a ruthless con, and the illegal meetings with a highly partisan ‘Whistleblower’ & lawyer. This makes Nervous Nancy every bit as guilty as Liddle’ Adam Schiff for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and even Treason. I guess that means that they, along with all of those that evilly ‘Colluded’ with them, must all be immediately Impeached!” http://bit.ly/2OtVYAH

Keep in mind: Members of Congress cannot be impeached.

What can happen to a member of Congress: The Constitution says each House of Congress “may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.” 

  

Meanwhile — Republicans are tip toeing around the impeachment inquiry: 

Via The Hill’s Juliegrace Brufke, rank-and-file Republicans have been treading very carefully around the impeachment inquiry. 

On one side: Republicans don’t want to get on President Trump’s bad side.

On the other side: As details of President Trump’s actions with foreign governments slowly trickle out, they don’t want to say too much.

From a former GOP lawmaker: “No one has any idea what Trump has or hasn’t said, so why defend? Plus, even as Dems assume the worst and supplant supposition for conclusion, why defend Trump when even if it doesn’t rise to impeachment, he’s still out of line.” 

How many Republicans feel about President Trump’s actions: “While Republicans think Democrats are overreaching with their impeachment effort, which is directly tied to the foreign intervention issue, many are clearly uncomfortable with the president calling on Kiev or Beijing to investigate Biden.”

How this could play out: http://bit.ly/30VoJZE

  

IN OTHER NEWS

This a.m. — a judge ruled against Trump in the tax return fight:

A federal judge dismissed President Trump‘s lawsuit to challenge a subpoena for his tax returns. http://bit.ly/2pT34ok

Details: “The Manhattan district attorney’s office issued a grand jury subpoena in August to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for Trump’s tax returns and other financial records. The following month, Trump’s personal lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of the subpoena.” 

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Let me tell you ’bout my best friend:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2APWSzzons 

 

Getting traction — people have very strong opinions about this:

Cough cou- *alcoholic Tide Pods* -gh cough: 

 

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ON TAP:

The House and Senate are out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence is in Nashville, Tenn.

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

12:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence lands in Nashville, Tenn.

1:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence tours Tyson Foods.

6 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

6 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at a Trump Victory dinner in Franklin, Tenn.

7:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump host a dinner with senior military leaders and spouses. 

9:55 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

  

WHAT TO WATCH:

2:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gives a speech on trade. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2LRZzXQ

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs the U.S-Japan Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement in the Roosevelt Room. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2IuCPei

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…

Today is National Chocolate Covered Pretzel Day.

  

Wow, this restaurant wins Halloween:

Check out this Pennsylvania restaurant’s Halloween decorations. Photo: https://cnn.it/2LRFkta

 

And to brighten your Monday morning, here’s a cat who seems to have gotten himself into a pickle: http://bit.ly/2ViM5ra

The cat’s owner commented: “We have two sane cats. Pushed our luck getting a third.” 

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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