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President Trump responded to harsh criticism from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) over the events unfolding in northern Syria, saying that Graham should focus on his work chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, and accusing Graham of obsessing over war in the Middle East.

"Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next 1,000 years with thousands of soldiers fighting other people's wars. I wanna get out of the Middle East. I think Lindsey should focus right now on Judiciary, like the Democrats — the do-nothing Democrats as I call them because they're doing nothing, they're getting nothing done. They're not getting USMCA done between Canada, the United States and Mexico. They're getting nothing done."
— President Trump

The other side: Graham, usually a loyal Trump ally, reprised his condemnation of the president's decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria on Wednesday, expressing disbelief at comments he made earlier about U.S.-allied Kurdish forces not being "angels."

Graham tweeted that if Trump "continues to make such statements this will be a disaster worse than President Obama's decision to leave Iraq."

  • "If the President did say that Turkey's invasion is no concern to us I find that to be an outstanding — an astonishing statement which I completely and totally reject. ... If you're not concerned about Turkey going into Syria why did you sanction Turkey?"
  • He said later: "I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump's worst nightmare. I will not sit along the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey... This is a defining moment for President Trump. He needs to up his game."

Worth noting: Trump's comments about Graham's desire to keep thousands of troops in the Middle East come days after he authorized sending 3,000 more U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia in order to combat the threat from Iran.

Go deeper: Senators say Erdogan's White House invitation should be revoked

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.

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