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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

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.

National Archives releases Trump White House records to Jan. 6 panel

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The National Archives on Thursday evening released records of former President Trump's White House to the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, the agency said.

Why it matters: The committee now has documents that Trump attempted to keep hidden, arguing that their release would undermine his executive privilege.