Oct 16, 2019

Trump attacks Lindsey Graham for criticism of Syria policy

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

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Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,375,648 — Total deaths: 343,721 — Total recoveries — 2,149,412Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 1,639,872 — Total deaths: 97,599 — Total recoveries: 361,239 — Total tested: 13,784,786Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

White House announces new coronavirus travel restrictions on Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with Trump, March 19, 2019. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images

The White House announced that beginning at 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, President Trump would suspend entry of non-U.S. citizens who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days in an effort to stop the imported spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Brazil has reported nearly 350,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the second-most in the world behind the U.S. — and has emerged as a Southern Hemisphere hotspot as other heavily affected countries in Asia and Europe have managed to get their outbreaks under control.