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John Bolton back on the job, as President Trump weighs Syria options

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Last April, the Trump administration launched strikes on a Syrian-government airfield in retaliation for a brutal chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

Standing alongside Jordan’s King Abdullah II last year, Trump said that the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun crossed “a lot of lines for me.”

“When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies with a chemical gas that is so lethal that people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many lines beyond the red line. Many, many lines,” he said.

Late Sunday, reports emerged of airstrikes at an airport in the Syrian city of Homs, leading many to believe that Trump had once again called for retaliation. However, the Pentagon was quick to dismiss the reports, saying the airstrikes were not conducted by the U.S. The Russian defense ministry said Monday that two Israeli F-15 jets were behind the strikes.

Where carefully crafted policies ideally precede public messaging, advisers now often scramble to reshape policy to catch up with the president’s tweets and public declarations.

Trump’s tendency to tweet his mind has blindsided advisers and, in some cases, complicated or even upended administration policy.

Bolton’s predecessor, Gen. H.R. McMaster, told participants at an international security conference in Germany in February that “the evidence is now incontrovertible” that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump quickly — and publicly — called McMaster out for what he viewed as an incomplete message.

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted. “Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”

Bolton, who is also skeptical of Moscow, takes on the delicate balancing act of responding forcefully to Russian aggression around the world, while appeasing the president’s stated interest in warmer ties with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin or his efforts to defend the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

But his most pressing task, as he met with other White House National Security Council principals after just hours on the job: helping to hammer out Syrian response options for a president who, just days ago, publicly pined for a speedy exit.

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Nicola Sturgeon lifts travel ban as Scots to resume meeting outdoors from Friday

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NICOLA STURGEON has lifted Scotland’s travel ban as six adults from up to six households can meet outdoors from Friday anywhere across Scotland.

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Remainers lose faith in EU and support Brexit after bloc's bitter vaccine threats

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Brussels’ bitter vaccine threats have convinced angry Remainers to turn their backs on the European Union and support Brexit, research has revealed.

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Biden, Congress to pay tribute to slain Capitol Police officer

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who was killed earlier this month when a man rammed his car into him and another officer at the Capitol, will lie in honor in the building’s Rotunda on Tuesday.

Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, will be the fourth Capitol Police officer to ever lie in honor. The arrival ceremony is set for 10:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m., President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will pay tribute to Evans at a congressional ceremony inside the Rotunda. The officer’s family, along with members of the Capitol Police and Congress, are also expected to attend.

“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement, adding it was “the great and solemn privilege of the House of Representatives and the Senate to convey the appreciation and the sadness of the Congress and country for the heroic sacrifice of Officer Evans with a lying-in-honor ceremony in the U.S. Capitol.”

Evans, who was known as “Billy,” served with Capitol Police since 2003 and was working in the first responders Unit. He leaves behind two young children.

He was killed on April 2 when a man drove a car into him and another officer before hitting a security barricade outside the Capitol. The man, 25-year-old Noah Green, of Indiana, got out of the vehicle and lunged at the officers with a knife before being shot and killed by police, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said.

The memorial for Evans comes three months after the attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, which resulted in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. His remains were also laid in honor in the Rotunda. Another Capitol Police officer, Howard Liebengood, died by suicide in the days after the riot.



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