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In an interview with Mike Allen for "Axios on HBO," Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said he learned about President Trump's abandonment of the Kurds through the president's Twitter, despite sitting on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The big picture: Romney has joined a number of Republicans in condemning the president's withdrawal of troops from northern Syria, as well as Trump's portrayal of a temporary ceasefire as a victory. In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor last week, Romney said the withdrawal "will stand as a blood stain in the annals of American history."

  • In a cross-party, 354-60 vote last week, the House condemned the withdrawal. The ceasefire is also set to last only five days, and it's meant to give room for the Kurds to escape the area to avoid further clashes with Turkish-backed forces.

What they're saying: Romney noted that he learned of the move on Twitter, "like most folks." In response, Allen asked him:

  • "What's the point of even having a Foreign Relations Committee?"

Romney's response:

"Well, that's increasingly a good question. We do have a Foreign Relations Committee where people are able to deal with some of these questions — consider what's in America's best interest long term. And if that's not gonna be welcome or accepted, why — you ask a good question, which is: Why do we even have it?"
— Romney to "Axios on HBO"

Romney added that withdrawing U.S. troops without notifying the committee was particularly surprising to him because "this is an area of Syria in particular [the committee has] been focused on."

Go deeper

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) after striking the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Liverpool F.C. and Real Madrid at Anfield in Liverpool, England, last Wednesday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Why it matters: The prime ministers of the U.K. and Italy are among those to express concern at the move — which marks a massive overhaul of the sport's structure and finances, and it effectively ends the decades-old UEFA Champions League's run as the top tournament for European soccer.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.

Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.

GOP pivot: Big business to small dollars

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.