Jun 27, 2019

Veteran Tulsi Gabbard calls out Trump’s “chicken hawk Cabinet” over Iran policy

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a veteran of the Iraq war and an active member of the Hawaii National Guard, accused Trump's "chicken hawk Cabinet" of leading the U.S. "to the brink of war with Iran" at the first Democratic primary debate on Wednesday.

"A war with Iran would be far more costly and far more devastating than anything that we experienced in Iraq. It would take many more lives, it would exacerbate the refugee crisis. This would turn into a regional war."

Context: President Trump approved military strikes "on a handful of Iranian targets" last week but called them off at the last minute, amid heightened tensions that have brought back fears that the U.S. could be on course for war with Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, both of whom are considered hawks by the foreign policy establishment, have steered the Trump administration's campaign of "maximum pressure" against Iran.

What they're saying: Sen. Cory Booker was the only candidate on stage to say the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was a "mistake," adding: "I'm not going to have a primary platform to say, unilaterally, I'm going to rejoin that deal...If I have an opportunity to leverage a better deal, I'm going to do it."

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she would re-negotiate the U.S. back into the Iran deal, and — in a shot at Trump — added: "I don't think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at 5 o'clock in the morning."

Go deeper: A timeline of how Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health