Members of the American diplomatic corps testified about the state of U.S. foreign policy in private hearings on Capitol Hill this week. According to our national political correspondent, their testimonies revealed “a remarkably consistent story” about the ways in which career diplomats have been sidelined to make room for Trump administration officials. The conduct of those officials, and the nature of the directives they received, is at the center of the House impeachment investigation. We look back at a week inside the U.S. Capitol as that inquiry enters a pivotal phase. Guest: , that Mr. Trump had withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine.
A Foreseen Calamity in Syria
The presence of U.S. troops in northern Syria was designed to protect America’s allies and keep its enemies there in check. President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the region quickly, and predictably, unraveled a tenuous peace on the volatile border between Syria and Turkey. His decision handed a gift to four American adversaries: Iran, Russia, the Syrian government and the Islamic State. David E. Sanger of The Times explains why “the worst-case scenario is even worse than you can imagine.” Guest: President Trump sent to Turkey’s leader.
The Moderates Strike Back: The 4th Democratic Debate
Last night in Ohio, The New York Times co-hosted a presidential debate for the first time in more than a decade. Marc Lacey, The Times’s National editor, moderated the event with the CNN anchors Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper. It was also the first debate since Democrats started an impeachment inquiry into President Trump and his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Candidates denounced the president, calling for his impeachment, without wading into the specifics of the investigation. Instead, moderates focused on winning over Biden voters by differentiating themselves from more progressive candidates. Guests: from the debate.
The Effort to Discredit the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
This week, we’re producing episodes of “The Daily” from The New York Times’s Washington bureau. The impeachment inquiry is entering a pivotal phase as Congress returns from recess. The White House’s strategy to block the investigation is beginning to crumble, with five administration officials set to testify before House investigators. On Monday, those committees heard testimony about why the president removed the longtime ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, just two months before the call in which he asked the Ukrainian president for a favor. Today, we look at how Ms. Yovanovitch ended up at the center of the impeachment process. Guests: . “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,” an aide quoted him as saying of President Trump’s personal lawyer.
The Story of a Kurdish General
Turkey has invaded Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria, upending a fragile peace in the region and inciting sectarian bloodshed. The Trump administration has ordered a full evacuation of the 1,000 American troops that remain in northeastern Syria, leaving Mazlum Kobani, the commander of the Kurdish-led militia, and his forces to rely on Russia and Syria for military assistance. Who are the Kurds? How is it that Kurdish fighters came to be seen as allies to the United States and terrorists to Turkey? And what would the fall of Kurdish territory in northeastern Syria mean for the region? Guest: after the U.S. abandoned posts in northeastern Syria. “It’s a stain on the American conscience,” one Army officer said.