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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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Trump Accuses Social Media Platforms of Favoring his Opponents

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment. Alphabet's Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately comment.

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FILE - A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of favoring his Democratic opponents over him and his fellow Republicans.

“But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA,” he said in a tweet. MAGA refers to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Facebook and Twitter declined to comment. Alphabet’s Google, which owns YouTube, did not immediately comment.

The president and other conservatives have repeatedly complained that these big tech platforms treat them unfairly.

Trump has previously accused Twitter of restricting the visibility of prominent U.S. Republicans, without any providing evidence, and the avid social media user has promised to investigate the company’s practices.

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FILE – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Trump and other conservatives say Twitter targets fellow Republicans with a practice dubbed “shadow banning,” limiting the visibility of a Twitter user, including in the platform’s auto-populated dropdown search box.

Representative Devin Nunes of California has sued Twitter over the alleged practice, according to court documents.

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Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey has said that algorithms have been changed to fix that issue.

The Justice Department held a meeting last fall between federal officials and state attorneys general to discuss allegations that conservative ideas are suppressed online, but so far no concrete action has been taken as a result. (VOA)