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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump at the White House in May 2017. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order on Monday authorizing the imposition of sanctions on current and former Turkish officials, senior administration officials told reporters Monday.

Why it matters: Trump's removal of nearly all U.S. troops from Syria created bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill, prompting members of Congress to immediately prepare sanctions bills of their own in retaliation. As Axios' Dave Lawler notes, Trump is now preempting those looming sanctions with steps of his own.

  • However, some Democratic lawmakers have already said that sanctions on Turkey alone are not enough.  
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said as much in a Monday statement, arguing that Trump must "correct course" and reverse the troop withdrawal.

The White House is pressing for a cease-fire in the region. Trump directed a senior level delegation to depart for Ankara, Turkey, as quickly as possible, the officials said, adding that he would not send a high level delegation on such short notice unless he was pretty confident there was a chance at making a deal to stop the Turkish invasion.

  • The officials said the conflict is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's fault, not Trump's.
  • "Moving a few men around in northern Syria" was not going to change much, one official said, adding that Erdogan was going to move ahead with the invasion regardless of whether the U.S. had troops on the ground.
  • The administration also announced a suspension of trade talks with Turkey and increased steel tariffs to 50%.

The officials would not say whether ISIS fighters have escaped imprisonment as a result of the fighting.

Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to show that the U.S. delegation was sent to Ankara, Turkey (not to Africa).

Go deeper

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2017. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/AFP via Getty Images

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record,

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

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