terrorism

Trump to host Turkey’s Erdogan same day public impeachment hearings start
Bipartisan calls to cancel visit ignored, as experts say Washington still needs Ankara

President Donald Trump welcomes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the White House in 2017. The Turkish leader makes a controversial return Wednesday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be feted Wednesday at the White House despite his attacks on a longtime U.S. ally, his purchase of military equipment from Russia and calls from lawmakers in both parties to punish him.

President Donald Trump and top aides have ignored bipartisan calls to cancel Erdogan’s visit, which is expected to include a joint press conference on the same day public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry begin.

White House, GOP allies shift to Clintonesque counterimpeachment message
‘Pelosi won’t bring those bills to the floor because she is infatuated with impeachment,’ WH spox says

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., talk as they arrive for a press conference at the Capitol on May 9. Cheney accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of having “neutered” the Intelligence Committee because of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House and its Republican allies on Thursday slightly shifted their counterimpeachment messaging to one that more closely resembles that of President Bill Clinton’s West Wing messaging during his own House investigation.

Former aides to the 42nd president have offered free advice to the Trump White House for several weeks, suggesting the 45th chief executive and his top administration aides focus on what President Donald Trump is still trying to accomplish to benefit Americans in their everyday lives.

Often-talkative Trump goes quiet amid impeachment testimony, slowing economy
‘It’s almost like he is low energy these days,’ Democratic strategist says

President Donald Trump speaks to news media at the White House on Oct. 10. After damning testimony from White House aides and data showing a sluggish economy, he has ducked reporters' questions this week. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | All week, reporters at the White House have waited for the announcement over the loudspeaker instructing the day’s press pool to report for duty pronto for unplanned presidential remarks. But, so far, the speaker has remained mostly silent — just like President Donald Trump.

Even during a term that has featured — at the time, at least — what felt like consequential weeks, this one quickly took on a different feel.

By praising Baghdadi-cornering K-9, Trump stirs Islam’s complicated dog history — and his own
President praises ‘beautiful’ military animal but has used ‘like a dog’ to hammer his critics, rivals

A U.S. soldier and military dog keep watch at Forward Operating Base Connelly in Afghanistan in August 2015. President Donald Trump is praising a military canine used in a Saturday raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but his own history with canines is complicated. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump has singled out a U.S. military dog that helped corner Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before he killed himself during a Saturday mission in Syria. In doing so, he has waded into the Middle East’s — and his own — complicated history with the species.

As he announced the extremist group leader’s death in Sunday morning remarks from the White House, the commander in chief sent mixed messages about canines. It was difficult to determine how Trump, widely known as not a big animal fan, feels about dogs, even as he described the Syria raid.

Coalition forces collected DNA from ISIS leader al-Baghdadi in 2004
Records released Tuesday cast new light on the terrorist leader’s time in U.S. custody

The U.S. military took a DNA sample from Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, shown here in 2014, more than a decade before he was killed, records show. (Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images file photo)

The U.S. military took a DNA sample from Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi more than a decade before American special forces killed him last weekend, records obtained by CQ Roll Call show.

The White House confirmed in a statement Sunday that “visual evidence and DNA tests confirmed Baghdadi’s identity” after the terrorist leader blew himself up during a dramatic raid by special forces in northwest Syria.

Lopsided cease-fire ‘deal’ emboldens Turkey, harms U.S. allies
Temporary, nonbinding, requiring nothing: ‘We got what we wanted,’ foreign minister says

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 10. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that Vice President Mike Pence had reached an agreement with Turkey’s president for a halt to hostilities in northern Syria.

“This is a great day for civilization,” Trump wrote. “People have been trying to make this “Deal” for many years.”

Will Trump abandoning the Kurds hurt him politically with former comrades in arms?
Military members and veterans have been among the commander in chief’s staunchest supporters

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., who served with Kurdish forces during the war in Iraq, said they were “the one group you could have behind you and not worry about your back. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With President Donald Trump in essence abandoning former Kurdish allies in northern Syria who helped the U.S. beat back ISIS over the last half decade, some Republican lawmakers who served in the military and outside advocacy groups are divided whether the policy could damage the president’s support among current and former service members, which has remained high throughout his administration.

Despite the U.S. military and Kurds working hand-in-hand on military operations in the Middle East for more than two decades, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that the Kurds are “no angels,” and deemed his move to withdraw U.S. personnel who had served as a buffer between them and Turkish forces “strategically brilliant.”

Sanctions on Turkey go front and center as Congress returns
Trump’s proposed sanctions appear to buy some breathing room with GOP critics

Turkish troops drive their armored vehicles into Syria on Monday. (Aaref Watad/AFP/Getty Images)

Bipartisan, bicameral sanctions against Turkey over its incursion into northern Syria against longtime Kurdish allies of the U.S. are high on the agenda as lawmakers return from recess Tuesday, even as President Donald Trump appeared to try to undercut the emerging unity on the issue.

While the sanctions and trade actions declared by the president Monday fall short of what lawmakers had been proposing, they do appear, at least initially, to have bought him breathing room with some top Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has been leading the sanctions charge in the Senate.

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

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

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

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

Trump’s UN speech shows a departure from John Bolton’s muscular worldview
President’s speech could be called ‘Bolton Lite’ as he urges dictators to ‘love’ their people

Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, center, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher, right, attend an international ceremony in Warsaw to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II on Sept. 1. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump went to the United Nations General Assembly without his former national security adviser, the hawkish John Bolton, and delivered a speech that might be dubbed “Bolton Lite.”

Bolton was ousted after a series of disagreements, including one over Trump’s scuttled Afghanistan peace summit that would have put Taliban leaders at Camp David just days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks their al-Qaeda guests planned from the southwest Asian country.