Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Bloomberg's John Micklethwait Wednesday that he has had several conversations with both the U.S. and Russia regarding how to handle the crisis in Syria. Erdogan said nothing came of repeated talks with the U.S. under the Obama administration, but with Russia there have been tangible results.

Why it matters: The U.S. and Russia, which is allied with the Assad regime, have different visions for a post-war Syria.

More from Erdogan at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum

Who has done more to help with Syria, Obama or President Trump? Erdogan dodged, stating that he "will not invest myself in an effort to measure them both." However, he said he has expressed his thoughts to Trump and hopefully they can "unite on these facts and take future steps accordingly" at their meeting in NYC Thursday.

On Assad

  • "The conflict in Syria has been going on for the last several years, and unfortunately the person leading Syria, Assad, has killed many of his own people... it's state-sponsored terror... I have repeatedly warned Assad about this conflict and I have used our friendship as a vessel to warn him but nothing has changed."
On Turkey's weapons deal with Russia, and why it bothers Western allies
  • Erdogan said that while Turkey is a member of NATO, it doesn't have the same access to powerful weapons and systems as other member nations do. And with the violence raging in Syria, the weapons deal with Russia was necessary to protect his country.
  • Erdogan said Turkey has requested drones and missiles for many years from other countries, but has been repeatedly rejected, so "we were forced to take these matters upon ourselves."
Is Russia an ally?
  • Leaders should "increase the number of allies," said Erdogan, adding that this is what he is trying to do in regards to Russia.
  • Relations with Putin: On Monday he will have a phone call with Putin, and next Thursday they will meet for dinner to discuss the problems in Syria.
On EU membership
  • "For the last 54 years we have been lingering at the doorstep of the EU... they say 'there have been countries before you and we still haven't admitted them.' NO! This is a political embargo on Turkey... No country ever suffered from such an approach."

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."