21,413. 12/20/2018

NATIONAL SECURITY/SYRIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “James Jeffrey, President Donald Trump‘s special representative for Syria engagement, probably should have seen it coming. In August 2016, the well-respected veteran diplomat signed an open letter denouncing then-presidential candidate Trump as a danger to America. ‘In our experience,’ Jeffrey and dozens of fellow ‘Never Trumpers’ wrote, ‘a president must be willing to listen to his advisers and department heads [and] must encourage consideration of conflicting views.’ Trump, they argued, is ‘erratic’ and ‘acts impetuously.’ This week Trump blindsided his national security team, including Jeffrey, by announcing that he will be pulling U.S. troops from war-torn Syria. Just two days earlier, Jeffrey had delivered a high-profile speech forecasting a sustained U.S. role in the Arab country. And with that, the 70-something Jeffrey became the latest in a long line of Trump administration officials to be undermined and even humiliated by the president they serve. In a sign of frustration at the top levels of Trump’s national security team, Defense Secretary James Mattis announced his resignation on Thursday, releasing a letter saying that his views are not ‘aligned’ with Trump’s and specifically citing the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State terrorist group, which has partly been waged in Syria.”

Nahal Toosi, “A ‘Never Trumper’ bets on Trump, and loses,” Politico, December 20, 2018

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