Speed Reads

Trump tweets

Trump walks back Syria missile threat, disputes report he tried to fire Mueller, in morning tweets

President Trump's Thursday morning tweets included a thank you note to California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for deploying the National Guard to the Mexican border (where they will not work to detain immigrants or refugees) and good luck wishes to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who faces a tough confirmation hearing to be secretary of state Thursday morning. But he also seemed determined to set the record straight, first on a New York Times report that he moved to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller in December and then on his Wednesday morning threat to fire missiles at Syria.

The New York Times report on Mueller cited eight White House officials and people close to Trump, and while Trump insists he has the right to fire Mueller himself, that's an open legal question. According to The Washington Post and its 21 sources, Trump's aides were shocked at his tweeted threat to send "nice, new, and 'smart!'" missiles into Syria, but they "quickly regrouped and, together with Pentagon brass, continued readying Syria options for Trump as if nothing had happened." And last week, Syrian Kurdish officials warned that the Islamic State is entrenched and gaining strength in its remaining pockets along the Syria side of the Iraq border.