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Donald Trump to Slow Down US Withdrawal From Syria: Republican Senator

Before meeting Trump on Sunday, Graham had said that withdrawing US troops from Syria could directly result in the deaths of Kurdish people there

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Video: Frustrations Run High in Third Week of Shutdown. VOA

A senior Republican senator has said President Donald Trump has agreed to reevaluate, for now, his plans to immediately withdraw all US troops from Syria as he had promised to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State in the war-torn country.

“I think we’re slowing things down in a smart way… But the goal has always been the same. To be able to leave Syria and make sure the IS never comes back,” Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters at the White House after having a lunch with the President on Sunday.

“I think we’re in a pause situation where we are reevaluating what’s the best way to achieve the President’s objective of having people pay more and do more,” said the South Carolina Republican who has been a vocal critic of Trump’s plan for a 30-day troop withdrawal of American troops from Syria.

Talking to CNN after his appearance in the White House driveway, Graham said he didn’t mean to suggest that the President was pausing troop withdrawal altogether. Trump has not reversed his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, he said.

“The pause is to assess the effects of the conditions on the ground.”

The White House did not clarify whether Trump had come to a new determination about the Syria withdrawal plan, which drew widespread criticism from his allies and prompted Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to resign on December 20.

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Donald Trump. VOA

National Security Adviser John Bolton is scheduled to travel to Israel and Turkey early in the new year to discuss the decision with partners in the region.

Graham said that during the President’s surprise trip to Iraq last week, commanders on the ground informed Trump that the IS was not “completely destroyed”, which he said was an “eye-opening” experience for the Commander-in-Chief, CNN reported.

“The President assured me he is going to make sure he gets the job done. He promised to destroy the IS.

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“He’s going to keep that promise. We’re not there yet. But as I said today, we’re inside the 10-yard line, and the President understands the need to finish the job,” said the senator.

Graham said he felt “a lot better” after his lunch with the President. “I feel better about Syria than I felt before I had lunch. The President is taking this really seriously. The trip to Iraq was well timed.”

Before meeting Trump on Sunday, Graham had said that withdrawing US troops from Syria could directly result in the deaths of Kurdish people there. (IANS)

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We Got Trump Elected, Shouldn’t Stop Him in 2020; Says Facebook Executive

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day

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FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t micro-targeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each persona.

He continued: “I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result. So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment”.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial (Galadriel) and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

“To be clear, I’m no fan of Trump. I donated the max to Hillary,” he tried to clarify his stand.

Bosworth said that it is worth reminding everyone that Russian interference was real but it was mostly not done through advertising.

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“$100,000 in ads on Facebook can be a powerful tool but it can’t buy you an American election, especially when the candidates themselves are putting up several orders of magnitude more money on the same platform (not to mention other platforms),” he wrote.

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day.

“Misinformation was also real and related but not the same as Russian interference,” Bosworth mentioned, admitting that Cambridge Analytica was one of the more acute cases where the details were almost all wrong. (IANS)