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President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Peter Nicholls/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration laid out its case against a Senate bill that would sanction Turkey for purchasing Russian-made defense systems and help Syrian Kurdish refugees immigrate to the U.S. in a State Department document obtained by The Daily Beast.

Why it matters: The document reveals how Turkey's actions have divided Trump officials and members of Congress, who have criticized the executive branch for not sanctioning Turkey for trading with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors.

  • The bipartisan "Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act" — sponsored by Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) — would bar the U.S. from selling Turkey F-16 or F-35 fighter jets unless the country abandons the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system it has purchased and tested. 

The big picture: In the document, the administration argues that the legislation would damage defense trade between the U.S. and Turkey, pushing Turkey to buy more weapons from Russia or other "adversary arms providers."

  • The administration says the legislation would "treat Turkey as a pariah in NATO, feeding a narrative that the Russian Federation would likely seek to amplify and exploit."

The administration also opposes a provision of the bill that would help Kurdish allies immigrate to the U.S.

  • "The President has been clear on this Administration’s approach to refugees as reflected in the National Security Strategy of the United States," the document says.
  • The administration has already capped the number of refugees the U.S. will accept at a historic low of just 18,000 from a high of 110,000 in 2016.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

1 hour ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."