Where Are We Exactly?

This is down deep in the NYT story just out on the open and public battle between the White House and the Pentagon over whether to withdraw immediately all U.S. troops from Syria:

But one Defense Department official suggested that Mr. Trump also wants to divert attention away from the series of legal challenges confronting him over the recent days: the Russian investigation run by the special counsel as well as the sentencing of his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in a hush-money scandal to buy the silence of two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

That’s an extraordinary allegation by a Pentagon official. Or more precisely an extraordinary ‘suggestion.’ In the narrowest sense, it’s a gloves-off fight over whether an abrupt withdrawal undermines or enhances U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East.

But in the broader sense, it’s an alarming level of irony that as the special counsel’s Russia probe closes in on President Trump, he would hastily order a withdrawal that the Pentagon argues would “cede foreign influence in Syria to Russia and Iran at a time when American policy calls for challenging both countries,” as the Times puts it.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Edblog
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: