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Franklin Graham. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

National evangelical leaders condemned Wednesday President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria following the announced start of Turkey's assault on U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in the region.

Why it matters: More than 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016, according to NBC News, but evangelical leaders said they consider his decision a threat to religious freedom in Syria.

What they're saying:

  • Franklin Graham, son of Reverend Dr. Billy Graham: "TODAY I ask that you join me in praying for the lives affected by the White House decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. Both Democrat & Republican leaders are deeply concerned bc this would be, in essence, abandoning our closest allies there — the Kurdish people. Also pray for the Christians who the Kurds have been protecting. They could be annihilated. Would you pray w/me that Pres. @realDonaldTrump will reconsider? Thousands of lives hang in the balance," he said on Twitter.
  • Evangelical radio host Erick Erickson: "Hey @SpeakerPelosi, maybe do a vote to initiate impeachment STAT, have the committee get out articles by tonight and over to the Senate, and perhaps we'll still have time to save some of the Kurds," he tweeted. He previously said in February he would probably vote for Trump in 2020.
  • Tony Perkins, a commissioner for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF): He retweeted a USCIRF tweet that reads, "#USCIRF deeply concerned re: U.S. withdrawal from & #Turkey's imminent incursion into northeastern #Syria; potentially grave implications for safety of religious and ethnic communities akin to 2018 humanitarian disaster in #Afrin. See USCIRF 2019 recommendation."

Go deeper: Republicans condemn Turkish assault on Kurds in wake of Trump's Syria decision

Go deeper

Trump voices support for Saturday's pro-Capitol riots rally

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Thursday expressed solidarity with people facing prosecution in connection to the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The statement was issued ahead of Saturday's rally to protest the treatment of Capitol rioters. Over 600 known federal defendants face charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.