News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
‘I love him so much I can hardly explain it’: Evangelical leaders praise Trump after pastor’s release
When a Turkish court released American Andrew Brunson after two years of confinement, it was a profound moment for Christian evangelicals, who had made the pastor a symbol of religious persecution worldwide.
In Brunson’s case and others, they had prayed for deliverance. And President Donald Trump, they said, delivered.
Trump on Friday said there was “no deal at all” with Turkey to win Brunson’s release, but the administration had brought significant political and economic pressure to bear. In an unusual move, the administration had used a religious freedom law to target Turkish officials, the first time such economic sanctions had been brought against a NATO ally.
Again and again, evangelical activists say, the administration has made good on promises made to the faith voters who lifted Trump into office — a group he will sorely need to turn out again for his 2020 re-election bid.
“He wouldn’t be our Sunday School teacher necessarily, but he’s doing a great job of leadership,” said televangelist and Trump adviser James Robison. “I love him so much I can hardly explain it.”Politico
Even with the midterm elections looming, Republican leaders in Congress made clear this week they’re paying close attention to a looming battle over President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.
On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan predicted a “big fight” over border security on the horizon, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that the GOP is “committed” to working to secure the funding the President wants for his signature campaign pledge.
Republican leaders managed to avoid a battle — and the political peril of at least a partial government shutdown — over border funding until after the November elections. But the hot-button issue is on track to flare up when Congress returns to Washington after the midterms, leading to questions over whether there could be a partial shutdown.
“That could be one of the big year-end fights and battles that still remains to be played out,” Sen. John Thune, the No. 3 Senate Republican, said on Wednesday. The South Dakota Republican added that “the President is very adamant about getting more money,” though he downplayed the potential for a partial shutdown, saying, “I don’t accept that that’s going to happen.”CNN
Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner (R) took down a video saying that he would “stomp all over” Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) face Friday, stating that he had chosen a “poor metaphor” in making the comments.
Wagner said that “I shouldn’t have said what I said” in the Facebook video livestreamed Friday.
Wagner told PennLive.com that he meant his remarks as a “metaphor for how he will approach the final stretch of the campaign.”The Hill
President Donald Trump on Saturday predicted that Turkey’s release of American Rev. Andrew Brunson would improve the diplomatic relationship between its government and the United States, and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his role in delivering the North Carolina pastor.
Trump also reiterated that the U.S. did not make any concessions to Turkey in exchange for Brunson’s return.
“There was NO DEAL made with Turkey for the release and return of Pastor Andrew Brunson. I don’t make deals for hostages,” the president wrote on Twitter.
“There was, however, great appreciation on behalf of the United States, which will lead to good, perhaps great, relations between the United States & Turkey!” he tweeted.Politico
The Republican Party of Virginia in a new campaign on social media declared that Democrat Leslie Cockburn, a House candidate running against Republican Denver Riggleman, “hates America.”
The organization released an attack ad against Cockburn on its official social media accounts Friday.
“Leslie Cockburn: hates veterans, hates ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], hates Israel,” the post reads. “Basically, Leslie Cockburn hates America.”
The attack ad was first reported by The Washington Post. Riggleman, Cockburn’s opponent, declined to comment to the newspaper on the campaign.
Cockburn’s campaign manager blasted the GOP for the post and condemned Riggleman for remaining silent.
“Leslie is stunned that Denver wouldn’t condemn the GOP’s baseless attack on her love of country,” Cockburn campaign manager Louise Bruce said in a statement. “While Leslie and Denver may disagree on the issues … we can all share a common patriotism and devotion to our United States.”The Hill
Will you work for a murderer? That’s the question a host of ex-generals, diplomats and spies may soon face.
“Why do you work for a murderer?”
Increasingly, it seems that is a question many Americans should be preparing themselves to answer.
Each year, Saudi Arabia employs, through consultants or otherwise, a host of retired American generals, diplomats, intelligence experts and others. Until now, they could assure themselves this was a win-win: lucrative for them, to be sure, but also enhancing mutual understanding with an important U.S. ally.
Now, as more and more evidence implicates Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in the reported murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Saudi diplomatic property in Istanbul, the equation has changed.Washington Post