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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Vice President Mike Pence (R) announce a ceasefire in Syria between Kurdish fighters and Turkish soldiers on Oct. 17, 2019. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing back on allegations the U.S. hung its Kurdish allies out to dry in ceasefire negotiations with Turkey, and that violence is continuing despite the deal, reports Politico.

"Our sense is, the political commitments that were made yesterday will end up being successful. We also have reporting that... the [Syrian Defense Forces] are actually beginning their departure. So key elements of the ceasefire look to be taking effect."
— Sec. Pompeo, per Politico
  • Pompeo acknowledged the lack of "perfect command and control" among the warring parties in Northern Syria, and conceded the ceasefire would ideally have taken hold in a "faster, cleaner in a more straightforward way."
  • Pompeo also said the U.S. continues to be allied with the Kurds against ISIS, and that the aim of the ceasefire was to "protect the Kurds" from Turkey.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has received some stark criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for abandoning the Kurds, who assisted the U.S. in fighting ISIS.

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that would be a "bloodstain" on the U.S., per Politico.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan "got everything he wanted" during the negotiations, notes Politico.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.