1 Trump: U.S.-Backed Forces Retake All ISIS Territory In Syria
Another victory lap? After declaring a win for the U.S. in Syria last year – enough that he announced plans to bring American troops stationed there home – President Trump says U.S.-backed forces have now retaken all the territory once claimed by ISIS in Syria. Making the announcement during a refueling stop in Alaska on the flight back from his Hanoi summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, Trump's claim has surprised American officials and regional allies. An official with the Syrian Democratic Forces tells CNN ISIS troops continue fighting forces led by the U.S. Earlier this week, reports said the terrorist group controlled only a one and-a-half square miles of territory along the Euphrates River in eastern Syria. What happens next remains to be seen.
2 President Trump Ordered Kushner Be Given Top Secret Clearance
As you’ll recall, there was much to be made last year about the status of First Son In Law Jared Kushner’s security clearance. Specifically, that he hadn’t secured a top secret security pass for a significant length of time. Suddenly, it was a done deal – and to ask the “New York Times,” that was for a good reason: that President Trump directly ordered Kushner be given a top secret security clearance over the objections of intelligence officials. According to the “Times,” Trump ordered then-Chief of Staff John Kelly to give Kushner the clearance. While it’s not clear why intelligence officials were leery, there is speculation his family's longtime business ties with foreign governments might be a factor. Either way, the “Times” is reporting that Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn both wrote memos that outlined their concerns about giving Kushner a top secret security clearance despite their objections.
3 Michael Cohen Wraps Up Visit To Capitol Hill…For Now
President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen has finished his three-day swing on Capitol Hill – and it wrapped with a closed-door hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee. As for what was said, no one’s saying – though Committee Chairman Adam Schiff did note that Cohen was able to shed light on some key issues. Without going into detail, the California Democrat said Cohen touched on some of the same subjects discussed in the previous day’s open hearing, along with some other topics. What did Cohen have to say? Also not a lot. After leaving the meeting, Cohen described it as “productive” and said he's “committed to telling the truth.” While time will tell on that front, it’s not going to be the last crack lawmakers have a questioning Cohen – he’ll be back in DC for more testimony next Wednesday