Russian Airstrike Accidentally Hits US-Backed Forces in Syria
TIME – A Russian airstrike in northern Syria hit U.S.-backed Syrian Arab forces who are part of the fight against the Islamic State group, a senior U.S. general said Wednesday.
Russia denied responsibility, saying in a written statement that it had adhered to U.S. guidance on avoiding friendly forces in that area.
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, said an unspecified number of American military advisers were a few miles away from the bombed site, out of immediate danger but close enough to see their Syrian partners get hit. He declined to say how many of the U.S.-backed Syrian fighters were killed or wounded.
Aides Told to Preserve Russia-Related Material
CBSNews – The White House has confirmed to CBS News that White House counsel told the president’s aides to preserve emails and other materials that could be connected to various probes regarding Russian interference.
A White House official told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan that this is “simply taking proactive steps to push back against false and politically motivated attacks.”
White House lawyers instructed the president’s aides to preserve the materials on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press, which cited three administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose the memo from White House counsel Don McGahn.
ACA Repeal Has Become GOP Headache
USA TODAY – Republicans have vowed for years to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but now that they have a GOP president asking for a repeal bill, a massive divide within the party threatens to derail the efforts.
The drama spilled out into the open following Politico’s release last week of a health care plan that House Republican leadership was reportedly drafting. The draft plan included at least a half-dozen components that proved toxic for various segments of the Republican Party.
Conservatives in the House are rebelling against the draft bill, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA., dismissed the legislation as an old draft that GOP leaders never intended to advance. But it is not clear what legislation will get enough support of House Republicans to pass and still have a chance of moving through the much less conservative U.S. Senate.
Democrats See a Path to Salvation in the Sunbelt
LA Times – As political activists around the nation watched Democrats bicker in Atlanta last weekend over who should take the party’s helm, a less noticed drama got underway in the nearby suburbs, one that ultimately may signal whether the party can emerge from its funk.
Georgia Democrats, who have been getting creamed for years in the towns stretching north of Atlanta, believe they are within striking distance in a special election that will choose a replacement for Tom Price, the former member of Congress tasked by President Trump with dismantling Obamacare as his Health and Human Services secretary. Voter distaste for Trump, the evolution of the new Sunbelt suburban electorate and a 30-year-old candidate who has become an unlikely magnet for out-of-state political cash are giving Democrats a welcome sliver of hope