President Donald Trump roiled some of his top allies in Congress this week with a surprise withdrawal from northern Syria.
The move earned a rare chorus of criticism from Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and others. McConnell urged Trump to reconsider on Monday, noting that “American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani returned to the center of the political storm swirling around the impeachment inquiry, as two of Giuliani’s Ukraine contacts were arrested on charges of violating campaign finance laws.
Despite the churn in Washington, Trump held a MAGA rally Thursday in Minneapolis — his first since the impeachment investigation was announced last month. Trump debuted his rally-style talking points on the impeachment investigation, calling it an effort by the “Washington swamp” to “nullify the results of a truly great and democratic election.” Expect to hear more of that Friday night when Trump heads to Louisiana for another rally.
Trump also attacked Joe Biden and his son Hunter from the podium — and supporters shouted, “Lock him up.”
Biden, meanwhile, spent Thursday night with eight other Democratic presidential candidates at an LGBTQ Town Hall. Sen. Bernie Sanders had been scheduled to be there, but stayed home as he continues to recover from his heart attack — and prepares for his planned return to the debate stage Tuesday in Ohio.
Sanders has spent the week trying to frame his post-heart attack condition, first saying he was scaling back his campaign but then clarifying that he “misspoke.” In an interview with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, he suggested his campaign is only temporarily pumping the brakes.
Sanders plans to visit Iowa, Nevada and “probably” New Hampshire after Tuesday’s debate.
The Point: Trump’s tough week ends on a high note in his favorite place to be: onstage in front of his riled-up base.
And now, the week in 16 headlines:
- Turkey to send troops into northern Syria as US pulls out of area, White House says
- Extreme measures being considered to protect whistleblower identity if he talks to Congress
- Trump threatens to ‘obliterate’ Turkey’s economy if they do anything ‘off limits’ with ISIS
- Trump administration expected to announce exit from ‘Open Skies’ treaty
- Democrats set date for November debate in Georgia
- White House official said Zelensky call was ‘crazy’ and ‘frightening’ in memo
- Nearly 1 million migrants apprehended or deemed inadmissible along US-Mexico border in fiscal year 2019, CBP says
- New poll finds more than half support impeaching Trump and removing him from office
- Spinning Trump turns to McConnell seeking to lock down GOP loyalty
- Republican anger at Trump grows as Turkey launches ‘sickening’ attack on US allies
- Bernie Sanders: I’m ready ‘to go full blast’ following heart attack
- Republicans still dodging questions about Trump’s calls for foreign countries to investigate Biden
- Lindsey Graham prank called by Russians pretending to be Turkish defense minister
- Wall Street Journal: Giuliani had lunch with 2 indicted associates at Trump hotel just before their arrest
- Trump loses appeal to stop House subpoena of his tax documents
- Sondland intends to testify next week under subpoena, source says
And that was the week that was.