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Andrew Harnik / AP

Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, kicked off a trip to Iraq on Sunday along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, as first reported by the NYT. An official said Kushner wanted to see the situation in Iraq for himself and show support for the government there, which adds to his current tasks (brokering Middle East peace and dealing with Mexico and Canada) as "Shadow Secretary of State." Kushner has never had experience in foreign policy.

And the U.S. is in hot water: There's an ongoing investigation into an airstrike that killed civilians in Mosul, which could have been caused by the U.S. Also on Sunday, Russia condemned the U.S. statements about the deaths as "absurd," and questioned whether the U.S. was targeting civilians, which would violate the laws of armed conflict. The U.S., on the other hand, has indicated ISIS is using civilians as human shields to avoid strikes, which would put the organization in violation.

Context: Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi left a meeting with Trump and Kushner noting the U.S. was going to take an accelerated approach to ISIS, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis submitted his plan to defeat ISIS to Trump last month.

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.