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In a blistering speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) again condemned President Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria and attacked him for portraying the temporary ceasefire announced with Turkey as a victory.

"The decision to abandon the Kurds violates one of our most sacred duties. It strikes at American honor. What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a blood stain in the annals of American history. There are broad strategic implications of our decision as well. Iranian and Russian interests in the Middle East have been advanced by our decision. At a time when we're applying maximum pressure on Iran by giving them a stronger hand in Syria, we've actually weakened that pressure. Russia's objective to play a greater role in the Middle East has also been greatly enhanced. The Kurds, out of desperation, have now aligned with [Syrian President] Assad."

Why it matters: Trump's expectation that Republicans would reverse their criticism of his Syria policy after Vice President Mike Pence struck a ceasefire with Turkey appears to have fallen short. The agreement — which Turkey insists is not actually a ceasefire — will force U.S.-allied Kurdish forces to evacuate the area that Turkey is conducting its military operation within 120 hours (five days).

  • Romney and many experts have argued that this gives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exactly what he wanted, but Trump has nonetheless touted it as a great success for all players involved.

Go deeper: Pence announces Turkey has agreed to temporary ceasefire in Syria

Go deeper

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dominion files $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani on Monday seeking $1.3 billion in damages for his "demonstrably false” allegations about the company's voting machines.

Why it matters: Giuliani led former President Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the election and spread the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines flipped votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

Mike Lindell moves the goalposts on a run for Minnesota governor

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on Jan. 15. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The will-he-or-won't-he speculation surrounding a possible gubernatorial run by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is destined to continue at least a bit longer.

What he's saying: Lindell told Axios that his focus is currently on proving his (baseless) claims of election fraud. He won't make a decision until that fight is resolved.

Wall Street pencils in virus variants as latest economic risk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is pinning its bets of an economic rebound this year on mass vaccinations and a virus brought under control, but new coronavirus strains threaten that sunny outlook, a number of firms are warning.

Why it matters: None downgraded growth forecasts because of the variants, but they’re acknowledging there’s a new asterisk to the anticipated economic recovery.