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National Govt & Politics
LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate
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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

In the party's smallest debate so far, ten Democrats will face off at Texas Southern University on Thursday night in a debate hosted by ABC News and Univision, another step on the way to determining a candidate to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Instead of two debate nights - with ten candidates on stage in both - this Houston debate will have just one night involving the ten who were able to qualify.

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Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

Here is a rundown of the evening's events.  All times are EDT.

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10:45 pm - And the third debate is in the books.

10:40 pm - Look for Beto O'Rourke to get some extra talk after tonight's debate.  His reaction to the mass shooting in his home town of El Paso - and his effort to tie President Trump to the anger of the gunman - which might give him a little boost.  But like others, he needs a big, big, boost in this 2020 campaign.

10:35 pm - Again, it's not easy to figure out what to ask, or how the debate flows.  But a number of issues didn't make the cut by ABC and Univision tonight.

10:30 pm - With these final statements on professional 'setbacks' - the debate ends on a more quiet and personal note.   Buttigieg talks about his decision to reveal that he was gay.

10:26 pm - As the final segment starts, a group of protesters interrupt Biden.  Asked about his biggest setback, Biden talks about family.  “There are setbacks, and then there are setbacks,” as he mentions the death of his first wife soon after he won a seat in the Senate, plus his son's death from cancer.

10:25 pm - What are Republicans talking about in this debate? 

10:22 pm - A second debate break.  If you are wondering why people are talking about record players, Biden mentioned it in his long winded answer of a few minutes ago.

10:20 pm - We all would do things differently about what questions should be asked. Here's one view.

10:16 pm - Biden is told his time is up.  Instead of just stopping like he usually does, Biden says he's going to talk over time like everyone else. Castro gets a lot of laughs by saying immediately, “that's quite a lot.”  Reporters who covered Biden in Congress have been there.

10:15 pm - ABC goes back to what Biden said or did forty years ago related to civil rights - remember, this spurred the big Biden-Harris divide in the first debate.

10:08 pm - Booker was asked about being a vegan, yes.

10:05 pm - Yang goes back to his $1,000/month payment to every American, as he denounces how corporations are using money to lobby for their plans. 

10:02 pm - Here's a run down on speaking time.

10:00 pm - It's  clear who has been the focus.

9:55 pm - The debate gets into Venezuela and U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.  While I know there are a number of people interested in that - it's an area of foreign policy which probably doesn't keep a lot of people glued to the TV.  And it helps Biden, as it runs out the clock on this third debate.

9:45 pm - Reaction of a Washington political vet on the GOP side.

9:40 pm - Sanders takes a swing at Biden on trade.  Biden didn't respond, but notes how China steals so much intellectual property from the U.S.   Booker with a funny line about the hair style of the Canadian Prime Minister.  Harris makes a joke about Trump and the Wizard of Oz.

9:35 pm - This is an interesting subject, because while Democrats don't like the President's strategy, they do want to be tougher on China, as Castro calls it an 'erratic' policy from Mr. Trump

9:30 pm - The second segment is underway on trade and the President's trade fight with China.  Yang says he wouldn't necessarily get rid of the tariffs if he was elected, arguing China needs a tough message on trade.

9:26 pm - There were no real battles or exchanges between Biden and Warren.  Still time.

9:22 pm - The first break is here.  Seems to me that Biden held up pretty well.  He was very rusty back in June in Miami at the first debate.   Basically, the only candidate really going after Biden tonight was Castro.   

9:15 pm - Univision anchor all but tries to tie up Biden on the debate stage, and allow Castro to tee off on Biden over deportations by President Obama.

9:05 pm - Speaking for the first time in about 30 minutes, Warren says it's time to get rid of the filibuster in the Senate in order to get more done on guns.

9:00 pm - Beto O'Rourke says he would try to force people to give up AR-15 and AK-47 type of weapons.  Big cheers in the crowd.

Beto O'Rourke says he would try to force people to give up AR-15 and AK-47 type of weapons.  Big cheers in the crowd.

8:55 pm - The debate goes to guns - and Biden immediately talks about his success with the Brady Law.  The question was how can he get anything done.  Harris says executive orders must be used - while Biden says many changes can't be made.  Harris: “Hey Joe, instead of saying no we can't, say yes we can,” - riffing off an old Obama line.

8:50 pm - There was criticism after the last debate from some Democrats that by attacking Biden on certain subjects, they were also attacking President Obama.  There was an obvious change about that tonight, with several candidates going out of their way to mention Mr. Obama in a positive way - and more of taking aim at President Trump.

8:45 pm - The debate now moves into race and gun violence.  It doesn't come close to the electricity of the health care back and forth.

8:40 pm - For a second straight debate Castro goes after Biden very specifically, this time on health care. “Are you forgetting what you just said two minutes ago?”

8:35 pm - Biden is more aggressive tonight, and more on the ball.  Sanders seems to be in an aggravated, frustrated mood.  

8:25 pm - The first ten minutes were simply Biden, Warren, and Sanders.  The front runners controlling the debate.

8:15 pm - Opening statements were pretty much about what they want to do as President.  Into the Q&A, Biden starts by talking about how Sanders and Warren don't pay for everything they want to do.  Biden then gives a line which we might hear a lot.

8:09 pm - Andrew Yang again making people shudder in Georgetown and on K Street by not wearing a tie.

8:05 pm - The debate is underway with opening statements.  Amy Klobuchar D-MN uses a line that I figured someone was going to use in talking about the current administration.

“Houston, we have a problem,” Klobuchar said.

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

7:55 pm - Why are these ten candidates on the stage tonight, and not another 10-15 Democrats as well?  That's because the qualifying process was tightened.

7:45 pm -  We are not seeing this in the press filing center, but in the debate hall, there are all sorts of speeches going on before the debate begins.

7:40 pm -  Before leaving the White House this afternoon to give a speech to a gathering of House Republicans in Baltimore, President Trump stopped to talk to reporters - and was asked about the state of the 2020 race and the Democratic debate.   “It's too bad I'm going to miss it,” the President said.

7:30 pm - We should talk about where the Democrats are debating tonight.  Texas Southern University is a historically black college - just blocks down the street from the University of Houston.   Two names with a lot of history and ties to the Democratic Party studied here, and then made it to the U.S. House of Representatives - Barbara Jordan, and Mickey Leland.

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

7:25 pm - It look like Andrew Yang will use the debate to make some news about his “Universal Basic Income” plan, where the government would give people $12,000 a year.

7:20 pm - We will have to wait and see what the ABC reporters decide to ask of the candidates in this debate.  I know if I was in charge, I would ask about today's latest report on the federal deficit - which is already over $1 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year.  Neither party seems at all interested in doing anything about it - other than blaming the other party for causing the numbers to go up.

7:15 pm - What should we look for tonight?  First of all, we will see if Joe Biden is the focus of verbal barbs this evening from others.  And we'll see if Biden and Warren clash at all, as this is the first time they have been on the same stage together.

7:10 pm - Other than the folks with ABC, the lead sponsor of this debate, most reporters (as usual) don't watch the debate in person, but rather in the press filing center.  This one is being houses in a basketball court, with the radio people up high on the elevated track.  If it was more open, I would just walk around it for a few hours.

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LIVE UPDATES: Democrats press their 2020 case in third debate

7:00 pm - I heard the sound from inside the press filing center.  It sounded like a helicopter.  Instead, it was a small plane pulling a banner for the GOP, warning those below at the debate site against socialism, and urging Texans to vote for President Trump in 2020.

6:45 pm - It's very warm outside, and chilly with lots of air conditioning inside.  The debate has attracted the usual group of demonstrators and activists on both sides.  As I arrived around lunchtime, there was band playing songs, demonstrators on both sides, and more.

6:30 pm - Those who waited in the Houston heat to get in for the debate had some unique warnings.

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  • Two people, including an elementary school teacher, died in a head-on collision late Thursday night, KRMG has learned. Bixby Public Relations spokeswoman Jennifer Rush confirmed that one of the victims of the crash taught for BPS. A witness to the crash scene, Jason Cowan, told KRMG three vehicles were involved. He drove up on the scene shortly after the wreck occurred between Yale and Harvard on East 151st Street in Bixby about 11:30 p.m. There were three vehicles involved, he says, but at first they only saw two. “You couldn't see the third vehicle, it looked like the two SUVs had hit each other head-on because they were the only two vehicles sitting on the road,” Cowan said Friday. “They obviously had been in a head-on collision,  you could just tell that they were destroyed.” KRMG obtained an email sent from the principal at Bixby Central Elementary School to parents and staff. It named the teacher, but because KRMG could not independently confirm the information in the email, we will not release that name at this time. The email indicated that counselors will be available for staff and students at the school Monday if needed.
  • A day after remarks by the acting White House Chief of Staff forced officials to scramble and walk back his statement that the U.S. did engage in a quid pro quo to get Ukraine to investigate a GOP election conspiracy theory, President Donald Trump had little to say about the situation on Friday, as some cracks in his support began to appear in GOP circles on Capitol Hill. Asked about the Thursday briefing by Mick Mulvaney, the President offered up only five words for reporters, before immediately moving on to other topics. 'I think he clarified it,' Mr. Trump said of Mulvaney, who basically confirmed the story of an intelligence community whistleblower, by acknowledging that military aid to Ukraine was held back, as the U.S. pressed Ukraine to investigate evidence-free claims that a Democratic Party computer server had been hidden in Ukraine by a U.S. internet security firm. “That's why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said in the White House Briefing Room. Mulvaney later accused the press of deliberately mischaracterizing his words. Even with his later walk back, Mulvaney's confirmation that military aid to Ukraine had been delayed on purpose - along with the plan for the President to host the G7 Summit at his own golf resort in Florida - was too much for some Republicans. On conservative talk radio, Mulvaney was blistered as well. 'I don't even think he knows what he's talking about,' Sean Hannity said on his Friday radio program. 'I just think he's dumb.' Meanwhile Democrats said Mulvaney had confirmed why there needed to be an investigation. “This is about the president systematically abusing the power and resources of his office,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
  • Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships are homing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific, in an area where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place. Hundreds of miles off Midway Atoll, nearly halfway between the United States and Japan, a research vessel is launching underwater robots miles into the abyss to look for warships from the famed Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands have already led the crew of the Petrel to one sunken warship, the Japanese ship the Kaga. This week, the crew is deploying equipment to investigate what could be another. Historians consider the Battle of Midway an essential victory for the U.S. and a key turning point in WWII. “We read about the battles, we know what happened. But when you see these wrecks on the bottom of the ocean and everything, you kind of get a feel for what the real price is for war,” said Frank Thompson, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C., who is onboard the Petrel. “You see the damage these things took, and it’s humbling to watch some of the video of these vessels because they’re war graves.”
  • Public health experts trying to predict the severity of the upcoming flu season in the U.S. often look to the Southern Hemisphere for clues. Here’s the word from Down Under, where winter recently ended: Brace yourself, America. Australia, which saw an earlier-than-usual peak of flu cases, had a rough season. The country was hit hard with a particularly virulent flu strain, H3N2, which generally causes more severe illness, especially in seniors. >> Read more trending news  U.S. health officials are urging people to get their flu shot as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of the month. Australia’s Department of Health recently said 662 people have died from the flu this season, and more than 270,000 people have gotten sick, making it one of the worst outbreaks in the country’s history. “When data started coming out from Australia, it got everyone’s attention,” said Dr. William Linam, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “It put us on notice to start making sure we’re ready, maybe even a little earlier than we already are.” Linam and other experts stressed the Australian flu season doesn’t always predict the U.S. one. So far, weekly surveillance data shows minimal flu activity in Georgia, according to the state Department of Public Health. But, as weather cools, flu activity will start to pick up. The season usually ramps up in October and peaks between December and February. But the season can also extend into May — like it did this past season. It takes about two weeks after a flu shot for antibodies to develop in the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Hugo Scornik, a Conyers pediatrician, said that, while the severe flu season in the Southern Hemisphere is concerning, no one can easily predict the severity of the season here, or exactly what strains will be circulating. “The only thing predictable about the flu is that it’s unpredictable,” he said, repeating an often-quoted axiom. Even within the U.S., there can be regional differences. At the start of the year, many states saw a late flu season surge of H3N2 activity. But in Georgia, that strain was more prevalent at the beginning of the season. Georgia’s 2017-18 flu season was particularly brutal. The long-lasting flu season didn’t subside until the end of April. It claimed 145 lives statewide and led to more than 3,000 hospitalizations in metro Atlanta. Six months earlier in Australia, an intense flu outbreak foreshadowed the deadly outbreak here. The flu causes fever, headache, muscle pain and can lead to complications such as pneumonia, which can be serious and even deadly. Each year, 5% to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu; tens of thousands are hospitalized; and thousands die from a flu-related illness. Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary, but it’s generally ranged between 40% and 60% over the past several years. Effectiveness was only 19% during the 2014-15 year. While many companies and schools offer free flu shots, polls show more than a third of Americans decline. Experts stress that, even if you come down with the flu, the vaccine can still offer protection. It lessens the severity of the flu and reduces the chance of experiencing complications. Getting a vaccine also can shorten the length of the illness if you do get sick. Seniors, young children and people with chronic health conditions are at most risk for serious, flu-related complications, but the flu also kills healthy people every year. Scornik pointed to a new hashtag, promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as a catchy way to remember to get a flu shot before the end of the month — #FluBeforeBoo. He, his wife and two sons got their flu shots two weeks ago. More details Each year, 5% to 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu. Tens of thousands are hospitalized. During the 2018-19 flu season, more than 1,500 in metro Atlanta were hospitalized for flu-related illnesses, and 44 people in Georgia died from the flu. Georgia’s 2017-18 flu season was particularly brutal. It claimed 145 lives statewide and led to more than 3,000 hospitalizations in metro Atlanta.

Washington Insider

  • A day after remarks by the acting White House Chief of Staff forced officials to scramble and walk back his statement that the U.S. did engage in a quid pro quo to get Ukraine to investigate a GOP election conspiracy theory, President Donald Trump had little to say about the situation on Friday, as some cracks in his support began to appear in GOP circles on Capitol Hill. Asked about the Thursday briefing by Mick Mulvaney, the President offered up only five words for reporters, before immediately moving on to other topics. 'I think he clarified it,' Mr. Trump said of Mulvaney, who basically confirmed the story of an intelligence community whistleblower, by acknowledging that military aid to Ukraine was held back, as the U.S. pressed Ukraine to investigate evidence-free claims that a Democratic Party computer server had been hidden in Ukraine by a U.S. internet security firm. “That's why we held up the money,” Mulvaney said in the White House Briefing Room. Mulvaney later accused the press of deliberately mischaracterizing his words. Even with his later walk back, Mulvaney's confirmation that military aid to Ukraine had been delayed on purpose - along with the plan for the President to host the G7 Summit at his own golf resort in Florida - was too much for some Republicans. On conservative talk radio, Mulvaney was blistered as well. 'I don't even think he knows what he's talking about,' Sean Hannity said on his Friday radio program. 'I just think he's dumb.' Meanwhile Democrats said Mulvaney had confirmed why there needed to be an investigation. “This is about the president systematically abusing the power and resources of his office,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
  • After clearly acknowledging to reporters on Thursday that President Donald Trump had withheld military aid for Ukraine partly in hopes of spurring an investigation into a 2016 GOP election conspiracy theory, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tried a few hours later to erase those comments, drawing fire from Democrats in Congress. 'That's why we held up the money,' Mulvaney said in an afternoon briefing at the White House, telling reporters that President Trump had made clear he wanted Ukraine to find the DNC computer server - which had been hacked by Russian Intelligence in 2016 - as the President believes it was somehow moved and hidden in Ukraine. 'Did (Trump) also mention to me the corruption related to the DNC server?' Mulvaney asked.   “Absolutely, no question about that.” The remarks put Mulvaney fully on board with an evidence-free allegation pushed by some Republicans - and embraced by President Trump - which says the hacked DNC server was taken from Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, D.C., and hidden in Ukraine by the computer security firm CrowdStrike. A few hours later, Mulvaney put out a written statement in which he said the press was twisting his words, as he tried to back away from his statement that President Trump wanted aid to Ukraine linked to 2016 investigations by that country's government. “There never was any condition on the flow of the aid related to the matter of the DNC server,' Mulvaney said in a written statement issued by the White House, hours after the Mulvaney said the exact opposite about what the President wanted from Ukraine. 'Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump,' Mulvaney said - though Mulvaney's words were very clear in the White House Briefing Room about the President wanting Ukraine to investigate. 'The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that (the President) was worried about,' Mulvaney said. During his briefing, Mulvaney scoffed at reporters who questioned whether the President was trying to get something from the Ukrainian leader by withholding aid money. 'Get over it,' Mulvaney said at one point. After Mulvaney tried to take back his words - which were broadcast live on all the cable news networks - Democrats said it was obvious that the only mistake Mulvaney had made, was the mistake of telling the truth. 'Mick Mulvaney needs to testify,' said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). 'Mick Mulvaney has confirmed what we knew all along,' said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).  'There is no doubt anymore,' said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA). 'The President’s top advisor says withholding foreign aid in exchange for political favors is 'absolutely appropriate.'' 'We condition aid to advance the national interest,' said Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). 'Never the partisan interest of the president.' In his July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine, the President clearly mentioned the DNC server and CrowdStrike. 'The server, they say Ukraine has it,' Mr. Trump said, according to a document released by the White House. Mulvaney's remarks came at a briefing where the White House announced that the U.S. would host the G7 summit at President Trump's Doral golf resort in Florida. Democrats said both the G7 Summit decision and the Ukraine investigation could well become part of impeachment charges against Mr. Trump.
  • Brushing aside questions about the ethics of hosting the G-7 summit at one of President Donald Trump's own  golf properties, the White House announced Thursday that the 2020 meeting of the G-7 will take place at the President's Doral resort in Miami, Florida. “Doral was by far and away - far and away - the best physical facility for this meeting,” said Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Pressed repeatedly by reporters in a rare Q&A in the White House Briefing Room, Mulvaney gave the back of the hand to any ethical concerns. Democrats in Congress said the decision just screamed self-dealing by the President. “This is corruption in the open,” said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). “Corruption in plain sight is still corruption,” said Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA). “Unbelievably brazen. Taxpayer and foreign money funneled right to his own club as a result of a decision he is making as President,” tweeted Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY). “This is just open corruption,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). “Congress should block any taxpayer money from going to G7 while it's at Trump's resort,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “This is a textbook case of unconstitutional conduct,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). “By holding G7 summit at his own resort, the President is using his office to enrich himself,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL). “This is corruption, plain and simple,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is running for President. Outside ethics watchdog groups chimed in immediately. “By treating the G7 summit like a commercial for his businesses, inviting foreign governments to line his pockets and hold their next meeting at his Doral, FL golf course next year, he mocks the Constitution he swore to uphold,” said Constitutional Accountability Center President Elizabeth Wydra.
  • Capitol Hill on Thursday was mourning the unexpected death of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, as lawmakers in both parties saluted the veteran Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who died early this morning at a hospice facility in his home town of Baltimore. Cummings had risen to the forefront of Congress in recent months as part of Democratic Party efforts in the U.S. House to investigate President Donald Trump and his administration. “When the history books are written about this tumultuous era, I want them to show that I was among those in the House of Representatives who stood up to lawlessness and tyranny,” Cummings said last month about his support for the impeachment of President Trump. 'The Congress and the nation have lost one of the great ones,' said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). 'This is a heartbreaking loss for Baltimore, Congress, and our entire country,' said Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL). 'Elijah Cummings was a good friend and a powerful advocate for what he believed,' said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). First elected to Congress in 1996, Cummings had in recent years become the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, sparring first with Republican investigations of the Obama Administration, and then taking the lead on investigations of President Trump and his administration. “The news that our friend and colleague Elijah Cummings has passed away marks a sad day for the members of the United States Congress, the people of Baltimore, and the entire nation,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). In a statement released by aides to Cummings, his staff gave few details on his health troubles, saying that Cummings had died around 2:30 am on Thursday, in a hospice care facility, where the Maryland Democrat had been treated for 'longstanding health challenges.'  It had been obvious to reporters in recent months that Cummings was facing some sort of health challenge, as he was using a wheelchair in the halls of Congress, and then a walker to make his way on to the floor of the House. But in interviews with reporters in the Speaker's Lobby just off the House floor, his voice still seemed strong, and gave no hint of immediate medical troubles. 'We're going to uphold the rule of law,' Cummings told me and other reporters in mid-May, as he outlined efforts to get information from the White House, which were routinely stonewalled by the Trump Administration. Cummings had returned after Labor Day, but had missed most votes after mid-September. Earlier this year, Cummings had drawn the ire of President Trump over investigations of the White House, as Mr. Trump called the Maryland Democrat a racist. “His loss will be felt across our country,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlihan (D-PA). Throughout the Mueller investigation - and other probes of the Trump Administration, Cummings had repeatedly urged voters to consider the totality of the situation involving President Trump, as he openly expressed concern about damage to the underpinnings of the federal government. “We are going to uphold the rule of law,” Cummings told a group of reporters in May. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in search of the truth,” Cummings said.
  • Angered by the outbreak of violence and a Turkish military invasion in areas of northern Syria held by U.S. forces until just last week, members of both parties joined in the House on Wednesday to deliver a clear rebuke of President Trump as lawmakers easily approved a resolution denouncing the policy change. 'This is one of those rare moments in Congress where we see both sides coming together,' said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), as the House voted 354-60 for the resolution. The plan decried 'an abrupt withdrawal of United States military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria,' saying the resulting change 'is beneficial to adversaries of the United States government, including Syria, Iran, and Russia.' 'President Trump's decision to pull hastily out of Syria has caused a humanitarian disaster, endangers our Kurdish allies, and could cause the resurgence of ISIS,' said Rep. David Trone (D-MD). 'The President has demonstrated complete disregard for the harmful implications that his erratic decision-making will have on our troops,' tweeted Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO). Even among GOP lawmakers who don't like these type of overseas deployments for the U.S. military, there was the overwhelming sense that the President had hastily decided to withdraw, leaving a vacuum which only benefits Russia and its Syrian allies, along with the Islamic State. After the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lumped additional criticism on the White House, when a briefing for lawmakers on the situation in Syria was scrapped. 'I am deeply concerned that the White House has canceled an all-Member classified briefing on the dangerous situation the President has caused in Syria, denying the Congress its right to be informed as it makes decisions about our national security,' Pelosi said. In the Senate it was much the same, as lawmakers in both parties spent much of Wednesday expressing their outrage over the President's decision, baffled that he would unravel years of work with a minimal number of U.S. troops to hem in Syria and the Islamic State - while partnering with Kurdish forces in the region. 'Withdrawal of U.S. troops gave Turkey a green light to go into Syria,' said Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT). At the White House, the President denied that he had given Turkish leaders the green light - but a White House statement issued when Mr. Trump's withdrawal was announced clearly stated that the U.S. expected Turkey to move forces into Northern Syria. 'I want to get out of the Middle East,' the President said on Wednesday. Not long after the vote, members of both parties met with President Trump about Syria - as the meeting quickly turned sour, with Democrats raising objections to the President's moves in withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, and the President pushing back. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats left the meeting, and told reporters that Mr. Trump had a 'meltdown.' Republican leaders and the White House denied that version of events.