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Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told the Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., an annual conference of Christian conservatives, that he feels like he's on an "island of one" over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. But he said the U.S. has to "bring our great heroes" home.

Why it matters: Trump has faced criticism from some Republicans and religious conservatives concerned that he's "left Kurdish Christians open to Turkey’s military offensive," per the Washington Post. Turkey launched a military offensive soon after the president announced the withdrawal.

  • Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, a retired 4-star general, told NBC News that the Islamic State, or ISIS, militant group "will resurge" unless the U.S. keeps up pressure in northern Syria.

The big picture: Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are drafting a bipartisan bill to sanction Turkey for attacking the primarily Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which partnered with the U.S. in 2015 in the fight against ISIS.

  • Graham told Axios' Jonathan Swan this week that Trump was "putting the nation at risk, and I think he's putting his presidency at risk."

What he's saying: Trump told the Value Voters Summit that the Kurdish forces "are fighting for their land." "They haven’t help us fight for our land," he said. "They’re fighting for their land and that’s good, but we’ve helped them."

"I don’t think our soldiers should be there for the next 50 years guarding a border between Turkey and Syria when we can’t guard our own borders at home."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: Syria decision exposes Trump to political peril

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.