The White House legal team is divided about the future of the war on terror, administration and congressional officials told The New York Times Thursday. Members of the administration are torn between whether to allocate more funds to fight Islamist militants in Yemen and Somalia, which could keep the war on terror going indefinitely. The use of lethal force in the region has divided the State Department and the Pentagon for months, and current administration policy is to focus only on “high-value individuals” in the region. But some members of the administration feel that a ramped-up effort to root out terrorists, such as the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Somalia-based al Shabab as their Pakistan and Afghanistan-based allies, has floundered. One counterterrorism expert said the war on terror is an “untangled mess” because its boundaries are so undefined.
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IN THE LOOP
Sondland Kept Pompeo Updated on Ukraine Dealings: NYT
The U.S. ambassador to the European Union reportedly kept secretary of state updated on what was happening in Ukraine.1 hr ago
A NEW FRONT?
FBI Requests Interview With Ukraine Whistleblower: Report
However, no interview has been scheduled, and it’s unclear whether the whistleblower’s lawyers will agree to it.45 mins ago
Gift Pick: A Multi-Purpose Backpack from Dagne Dover
There’s something so sleek and stylish about this monochromatic, neoprene bag that feels much more grown-up than the backpacks of your youth.4 hrs ago
PANTS ON FIRE
Twitter Condemns U.K. Conservatives for ‘Fact-Check’ Trick
The party briefly rebranded its verified press office account to look like an independent fact-checking outfit during its nationally televised debate.4 hrs ago
CUZ I LOVE YOU
Lizzo Secures Massive Eight Nominations for 2020 Grammys
The singer-rapper’s eight nods include bids for the top four awards, making her the year’s most-nominated act. Plus, Michelle Obama got one, too.6 mins ago
WHAT’S THE HOLDUP?
Ukraine Is Still Waiting on $35M of U.S. Military Aid: LAT
The Pentagon has declined to explain why the aid, part of the $400 million held back by Trump earlier this year, had been delayed.1 hr ago
Navy May Strip Officer Backed by Trump of SEAL Status
Conflict arises between Navy and White House over Trident pin removal for Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher.4 hrs ago
Writer: Exec Wanted Julia Roberts to Play Harriet Tubman
“When someone pointed out that Roberts couldn’t be Harriet, the executive responded, ‘It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.’”9 hrs ago
WHERE YOU GOING?
Man Tied to Dead Reporter’s Investigation Arrested on Yacht
Daphne Caruana Galizia was probing the murky dealings of 17 Black owner Yorgen Fenech when she was assassinated in Malta.53 mins ago
‘SHACKLED AND BLINDFOLDED’
Britain Says Consulate Worker Was Tortured by Chinese Police
Simon Cheng was detained for 15 days earlier this year, and says he was hung up on a wall with handcuffs.3 hrs ago