Trump accuses Washington Post of fabricating facts about covert Syria program

Donald Trump lashed out at the Washington Post and its owner, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, for what he claims were fabricated facts in a story about the administration ending a covert operation to train Syrian rebels.

The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

USA Today:

According to the Post, Trump decided to end a covert CIA program – approved by President Obama – to train moderate rebels to fight Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime after meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster before the G-20 summit in Germany earlier this month.

The report was met with consternation by lawmakers, with Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., criticizing Trump's decision and its ultimate motive.

"If these reports are true, the administration is playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin," McCain said last week, referring to the Russian leader. "Making any concession to Russia, absent a broader strategy for Syria, is irresponsible and short-sighted."

Trump also accused the Post – which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – as being "a lobbyist weapon" against politicians.

"Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?" he said on Twitter.

This isn't the first time Trump has launched a scathing attack on Bezos or the Post. Just last year, then-presidential candidate Trump said: "This is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He's using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don't tax Amazon like they should be taxed."

It's hard to discern whether Trump was upset that the cancelation of the program became public or he disputes the facts regarding its failure. 

Trump is right, and Graham and McCain are wrong.  In fact, most of Congress probably agrees with the president that the program was an abject failure, poorly conceived and incompetently managed.  It never came close to training the number of rebels promised.

Trump's tweet about "no tax" Amazon is absurd.  There are 39 states that require sales taxes on Amazon transactions.  The 11 states remaining either do not have any state sales taxes at all or tax only specific items.  Besides, it's not up to Washington to determine if Amazon pays taxes in a particular state. 

It was a brainless charge by Trump.  He should go after WaPo reporters and editors, not Bezos, who has nothing to do with the day-to-day operation of the newspaper.

Donald Trump lashed out at the Washington Post and its owner, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, for what he claims were fabricated facts in a story about the administration ending a covert operation to train Syrian rebels.

The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

The Amazon Washington Post fabricated the facts on my ending massive, dangerous, and wasteful payments to Syrian rebels fighting Assad.....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

USA Today:

According to the Post, Trump decided to end a covert CIA program – approved by President Obama – to train moderate rebels to fight Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime after meeting with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster before the G-20 summit in Germany earlier this month.

The report was met with consternation by lawmakers, with Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., criticizing Trump's decision and its ultimate motive.

"If these reports are true, the administration is playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin," McCain said last week, referring to the Russian leader. "Making any concession to Russia, absent a broader strategy for Syria, is irresponsible and short-sighted."

Trump also accused the Post – which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – as being "a lobbyist weapon" against politicians.

"Is Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep Politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?" he said on Twitter.

This isn't the first time Trump has launched a scathing attack on Bezos or the Post. Just last year, then-presidential candidate Trump said: "This is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He's using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don't tax Amazon like they should be taxed."

It's hard to discern whether Trump was upset that the cancelation of the program became public or he disputes the facts regarding its failure. 

Trump is right, and Graham and McCain are wrong.  In fact, most of Congress probably agrees with the president that the program was an abject failure, poorly conceived and incompetently managed.  It never came close to training the number of rebels promised.

Trump's tweet about "no tax" Amazon is absurd.  There are 39 states that require sales taxes on Amazon transactions.  The 11 states remaining either do not have any state sales taxes at all or tax only specific items.  Besides, it's not up to Washington to determine if Amazon pays taxes in a particular state. 

It was a brainless charge by Trump.  He should go after WaPo reporters and editors, not Bezos, who has nothing to do with the day-to-day operation of the newspaper.

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