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Syria, Mattis, Afghanistan, shutdown: Trump ends year in chaos


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Syria, Mattis, Afghanistan, shutdown: Trump ends year in chaos

By Steve Holland

 

2018-12-21T033121Z_1_LYNXNPEEBK06T_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP.JPG

U.S. President Donald Trump listens to remarks at a roundtable discussion of the Federal Commission on School Safety Report at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Young

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Trump's presidency has lurched from crisis to crisis since he took office less than two years ago, but Thursday was a landmark day of chaos that appeared to test the resolve of even senior Republican backers in Washington.

 

Defence Secretary James Mattis, a widely respected figure seen as a stabilizing influence inside the administration, handed in his resignation after arguing with Trump over foreign policy in a White House meeting.

 

Mattis then released a letter that showed fundamental policy differences between the two men and implicitly criticized Trump's disregard for allies abroad.

 

Also on Thursday, Trump resisted pressure to stand down from a decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, made plans to pull American forces out of Afghanistan and pushed the U.S. government towards a shutdown over funding for a border wall.

 

To top it all off, U.S. share prices tumbled as investors worried the looming shutdown, slower economic growth and the Federal Reserve's projections for more interest rate hikes next year.

 

Even some of Trump's friends showed deepening worry about where his administration is heading at the halfway point of his term.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally and frequent golf partner, on Thursday praised Mattis, publicly urged Trump to reconsider the Syrian pullout and warned that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan could ultimately lead to another attack on America similar to the one on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

"I believe you are on course to make the same mistake President (Barack) Obama made in Iraq ... It will turn out no better for you than it did for him." Graham tweeted of the Syria move.

 

Graham said the conditions in Afghanistan made troop withdrawals a high-risk strategy. "If we continue on our present course we are setting in motion the loss of all our gains and paving the way towards a second 9/11."

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement expressing grave reservations about why Mattis left.

 

"I am particularly distressed that he is resigning due to sharp differences with the president on ... key aspects of America’s global leadership," he said. 

 

It was a vivid reminder of the early months of Trump's White House, when he fired his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, after only days in office, fired then-FBI Director James Comey and launched a travel ban against majority Muslim countries that was blocked by the courts.

 

HEADING FOR A TOUGH YEAR

Trump already faces a difficult 2019, likely to be dominated by a special prosecutor's investigation into whether his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia and congressional probes into his businesses, his family and some cabinet members.

 

Democrats will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January and plan to use their power to dig deep into Trump's past and his administration.

 

Those Democrats, eager to soften Trump up for his expected run for re-election in 2020, leaped to take advantage of the scenes of turmoil on Thursday.

 

"It is a shame that this president, who is plunging the nation into chaos, is throwing another temper tantrum and is going to hurt lots of innocent people," said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Democrat in the Senate.

 

"The Trump temper tantrum will shut down the government, but it will not get him his wall," Schumer said.

 

Without the chaos, Trump might have had a good week.

 

He celebrated a rare bipartisan success with Senate passage of prison reform legislation, an initiative pushed by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

 

He also signed a major farm bill and promoted the ceremony with a moment of levity: He tweeted a video of himself from the Emmys awards show from years ago wearing farm attire - a straw hat, denim overalls and waving a pitch fork - and sang the theme song to the old "Green Acres" TV show.

 

Aides said he has been in a good mood for the most part, spending some of the pre-holiday week reconnecting with old friends. He has sat down for sessions with allies in the Oval Office and attended holiday receptions in the residence with friends.Behind the scenes, however, his White House team has been struggling to keep up. His new White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has scrambled to meeting after meeting.

 

So too has national security adviser John Bolton, an Iran hawk who had wanted to keep U.S. troops in Syria as a counter to Tehran.

 

Since the midterm elections, Trump has fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after they lost his confidence, as well as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is under an ethics cloud.

 

Others who were previously seen as on the way out may stay longer.

 

Trump is said by aides to be pleased by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for toughening her approach to the border, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is unlikely to be forced out unless he wants to leave.

 

But Mattis' resignation was jarring.

 

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that she did not believe Trump had asked Mattis to resign.

 

"The president had a good relationship (with Mattis), but sometimes they disagree. The president always listens to the members of his national security team, but at the end of the day it is the president's decision to make," she said.

 

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Kieran Murray and Sonya Hepinstall)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-21
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I'm sure a Trump supporter will be along shortly to proudly pronounce "This was always the plan to drain the swamp, Disruputive Innovation, Managed Chaos, a lesson in sophisticated Change Management."

 

Or, maybe it's exactly what we see it is: chaos for the sake of chaos by a dysfunctional and uninformed interloper, disruption from gross incompetence, and about the least sophisticated approach every seen in modern society of accidental, incidental, horribly backward change management....

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2 minutes ago, Emdog said:

Yeah... where are the Trump supporters? We've seen them before. C'mon we all need a good laugh at how you'll spin this

 

I'll bite. We are wasting a lot of money and resources in these places. Explain to me how any of this prevents another 9/11? So our boys are over in Kabu getting ambushed and their faces blown off by IED. Meanwhile some wack jobs are in NYC or LA preparing the next whatever. 

 

I do not see how anybody thinks that this occupation does anything to prevent that. 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Mattis then released a letter that showed fundamental policy differences between the two men and implicitly criticized Trump's disregard for allies abroad.

Well done Jamie....................:thumbsup:

 

I mentioned this in another post earlier regarding those left behind to sort out the mess.

 

I hope your resignation helps paint the big picture for agent orange, and doesn't leave him gaining any votes or confidence by bringing the boys & girls home from a FUBAR situation in (name any country they are occupying).

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and all of this whilst in the midst of a face of with one of the world's largest nuclear arsenals.

This guy is on a power trip extraordinaire.

I said it several times before and I will say it again,  Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

 

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This morning on CNN I heard a Republican/Trump supporter say that all this chaos had been planned long ago by Bannon and Trump, because out of chaos comes order.   And a whole lot more.  J.C. what ya gotta listen to!

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Short the stock market. It’s bound to crumble further. Maybe Trump has already. Bought shorts. On his way too, to crumble. It’s quite amazing how smart people have allowed this chaos to play out! Imagine the share price of any company if there was this level of firings and resignations. It would plummet

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Clearly, acting AG whitaker has briefed trump on the status of the ~ 17 investigations into the trump crime syndicate. Chaos may seem like the only way out for him?

 

Not sure when he'll hit bottom, or if Ivanka can talk him down?

 

Article 25 doesn't seem as crazy as it did just a few months ago.

 

 

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How things can go bad for Trump when Vladimir Putin just spoke out for his (and brexit) support? Perhaps Vladdy boy's golden touch was not so good thing after all. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Brickbat said:

Short the stock market.

 

It seems like this could be the blackest of Black Fridays, but the futures markets are only slightly negative, so far.

 

Seems like the outcome will hinge on a shutdown or budget CR.

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Liberalism use to equate to 'anti-war.' 
Now, liberalism equates to 'anti-Trump' which is 'anti-anything-Trump-does' therefore today for the liberals, continued everlasting, endless war abroad is part of the liberal agenda.  🤔
If Trumps pulls troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, then by golly, the US needs to stay in those wars at least until he is impeached by the upcoming Democrat congress.  Moar War is the progressive's rallying cry!!!  Only a good female or non-binary socialist president from the Democratic Party will be allowed to 'bring the troops home' and claim victory for the American way of life!!!. 

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Syria, Mattis, Afghanistan, shutdown: Trump ends year in chaos

This isn't the end.

Ethics officials at the Department of Justice have reportedly advised Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker that he does not need to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia probe.

https://www.businessinsider.com/matthew-whitaker-reportedly-cleared-to-oversee-mueller-probe-2018-12

Meanwhile a group of Senate Democrats sued in November to try to strike down President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. https://www.vox.com/2018/11/19/18102684/senate-democrats-matthew-whitaker-acting-attorney-general-lawsuit

And as of today there is still no federal budget.

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3 hours ago, keemapoot said:

I'm sure a Trump supporter will be along shortly to proudly pronounce "This was always the plan to drain the swamp, Disruputive Innovation, Managed Chaos, a lesson in sophisticated Change Management."

 

Or, maybe it's exactly what we see it is: chaos for the sake of chaos by a dysfunctional and uninformed interloper, disruption from gross incompetence, and about the least sophisticated approach every seen in modern society of accidental, incidental, horribly backward change management....

It's necessary to be a "disrupter" in order to change from being ruled by the deep-state globalists/socialist to being governed once again by the people. Or, we could just go along to get along and end up with the same swamp as before. I'll take the former.

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syrian,afganistan,newermind, have shit land and need destroy all. if trump leave many project between newermind, usa have earned all problems whgat have. no  matter, haha anti-trump can repair all, haha big joke, anti -trump idiots not can repair anythink. only destroi and plame all when idiots has can build somethink good, no newer.

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1 hour ago, connda said:

Liberalism use to equate to 'anti-war.' 
Now, liberalism equates to 'anti-Trump' which is 'anti-anything-Trump-does' therefore today for the liberals, continued everlasting, endless war abroad is part of the liberal agenda.  🤔
If Trumps pulls troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, then by golly, the US needs to stay in those wars at least until he is impeached by the upcoming Democrat congress.  Moar War is the progressive's rallying cry!!!  Only a good female or non-binary socialist president from the Democratic Party will be allowed to 'bring the troops home' and claim victory for the American way of life!!!. 

I totally agree with the USA not being involved in these wars.

 

But not getting involved is not the same as pulling out. Once you're in, you need a proper withdrawal plan, which seems to be missing here.

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3 hours ago, Cryingdick said:

 

I'll bite. We are wasting a lot of money and resources in these places. Explain to me how any of this prevents another 9/11? So our boys are over in Kabu getting ambushed and their faces blown off by IED. Meanwhile some wack jobs are in NYC or LA preparing the next whatever. 

 

I do not see how anybody thinks that this occupation does anything to prevent that. 

Yes, stay home! Please!

 

We'll let you know when the next war is nearly won so you can come in with the cavalry and save the day!

 

I suggest you pull out of S Korea! Just think how much lovely money you will save 🤗

 

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

 

Just think what you could do with the 80 billion saved? Build a wall at the Mexican border!!

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2 hours ago, connda said:

Liberalism use to equate to 'anti-war.' 

 

I know it makes complex situations easier to ignore when you can put entire blocs of the population into boxes like that, but reality is vastly different.  I guess that means conservatism = pro-war?

 

 

2 hours ago, connda said:

Now, liberalism equates to 'anti-Trump' which is 'anti-anything-Trump-does' therefore today for the liberals, continued everlasting, endless war abroad is part of the liberal agenda.

 

Enough with your labeling and tirade against your perceived liberal boogeymen.  There are a WHOLE lot of conservatives who are, as you put it, "anti-Trump".  Ann Coulter wrote a scathing column taking Trump down, for chrissakes. If you haven't read it, you really should: Gutless President in Wall-less Country:

 

"This is a man who manufactured fake Time magazine covers featuring himself with the headline, "Donald Trump: The 'Apprentice' is a television smash!" so that he could put framed copies of it on the walls of his clubs.  His business is convincing people with lowbrow taste to give him their money.  He's a vulgar publicity hound who used to call reporters in a fake voice and pretend to be his own PR agent, "John Miller" or "John Barron," so he could brag that actresses wanted to date him."

 

Limbaugh is skewering him on his radio show.  Does that make them liberal?  

 

And it's not "anything Trump does", it's just the stupid, evil and ignorant things.  Unfortunately for Trump, that turns out to be nearly everything he does.

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4 hours ago, connda said:

Liberalism use to equate to 'anti-war.' 
Now, liberalism equates to 'anti-Trump' which is 'anti-anything-Trump-does' therefore today for the liberals, continued everlasting, endless war abroad is part of the liberal agenda.  🤔
If Trumps pulls troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, then by golly, the US needs to stay in those wars at least until he is impeached by the upcoming Democrat congress.  Moar War is the progressive's rallying cry!!!  Only a good female or non-binary socialist president from the Democratic Party will be allowed to 'bring the troops home' and claim victory for the American way of life!!!. 

 

This is nothing to do with Liberalism or Conservatism.

 

These enemies are not fighting Liberals or Conservatives, or for land or trade, or control of a strategic seaway.

 

They are fighting you (and any other Westerner, "unbeliever" or "heretic" they can get at) because you are .....you.

 

They will seek you out wherever you are because their only aim, however deluded, is to destroy you at all costs.

 

There is no "safe level" of ISIS or of any of the other organisations whose initials begin with IS.

 

You cannot walk away from them and think it's all over.

 

You have to take the fight to this enemy and utterly destroy every trace of them.

 

And you have to stay there on watch.

 

No one will be able to bring all the troops home for the foreseeable future.

 

Trump is just giving them a chance to regroup.

 

They will be back now (as they came back before) and will be looking to also help others come for you.

 

Mattis knows that it will be much cheaper in blood and treasure to stamp them out and then keep the area under close "hands on" observation for instant control and eradication.

 

He is not prepared to be the man that colluded in the manufacture of the next catastrophe and the next need to send (and sacrifice) another tranche of service men and women.

 

Trump just wants your uncomprehending, ignorant, blind, idiot vote.

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, oby said:

the only chaos is the press saying so.

the fed raised interest rates, look at history, every time interest rates rise, the stock market goes down..

is fundamental theory.

i'm buying now.. always buy on bad news and sell on good~~~ has worked for me thru many ups and downs.

trump won fair and square, get over it.

did even 1 whiner actually leave the USA??

?where did they go??

?why do millions of people want to enter the US legally or not??

!because still the land of opportunity if you are willing to work you will succeed!

unfortunate so many wish to migrate to sponge off the labours of others

ok rant over 🙂 

Following a fed rise the stock market may dip briefly but then recovers. This is very different. The S&P 500 is lower than it's been for over a year.

Not that the stock market matters much as in indication of where the economy is headed.

 

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Hey Donald is doing a great job for the Russian federation not so much for the USA just think about it internationally he has destabilized the world markets screwed up nato backed stabbed our allies sucked up to every dictator he can find impowered n Korea into the nuclear family given away state secrets with his big mouth domesticity he has wrecked health care attacked childeren raised taxes for the working class raised prices wrecked the stock market shut down the government done his level best to wreck the judicial system disparaged the civil service set us Americans at each others throats yup he doing great if you hate America 

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9 hours ago, Emdog said:

Yeah... where are the Trump supporters? We've seen them before. C'mon we all need a good laugh at how you'll spin this

Not a trump supporter or a basher as I do not care , but all he is doing is what he promised during elections. 

 

Has he done anything he did not promise?

 

he promised to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan , so he is pulling out.

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