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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Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 18,147,574 — Total deaths: 690,573 — Total recoveries — 10,753,815Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 4,687,828 — Total deaths: 155,062 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 56,812,162Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Business: Virtual school is another setback for retail — The pandemic hasn't hampered health care.
  5. Public health: Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.

Filing suggests Manhattan DA is investigating Trump for possible fraud

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

The Manhattan District Attorney's office suggested for the first time Monday that it's investigating President Trump and his company for "alleged bank and insurance fraud," the New York Times first reported.

The state of play: The disclosure was made in a filing in federal court that seeks to force accounting firm Mazars USA to comply with a subpoena for eight years of Trump's personal and corporate tax returns.

House Democrats subpoena top Pompeo aides in probe of IG firing

Mike Pompeo. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images

The Democratic chairs of the House Oversight and House Foreign Affairs committees announced subpoenas Monday for four State Department officials as part of their investigation into the firing of former Inspector General Steve Linick.

Why it matters: The two committees, in addition to Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are investigating whether Linick was fired because he was probing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department's attempts to bypass Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.