The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from

Never passing up a chance to make Trump look weak on the world stage, the Kremlin on Friday stressed that when it came to last week’s U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria, Russia dictated what bombing sights were off limits.

If true, the revelation makes a mockery of Trump’s attempt at get-tough rhetoric about Russia in the days leading up to the strikes.

It’s also just the latest example of an American president who seems to habitually bow down to Moscow.

Discussing the attacks on Syria, Russia’s Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov insisted the Kremlin was very much in the loop and helped set the perimeters.

“There were military leadership contacts, between generals, between our representatives and the coalition leadership” he said. “They were informed about where our red lines are, including red lines on the ground, geographically. And the results show that they did not cross these red lines.”

That boastful explanation completely undercuts the premise of the attack, which should have been to punish Russia. A key ally of Syria, Russia has denied that any chemical attack took place on April 7 in the Syrian city of Douma. The attack killed more than 40.

Earlier this month, Trump was trash-talking about the planned strikes and warning Russia to butt out:

That gambit seemed designed to bolster Trump’s hollow mantra about how “tough” he’s been on Russia, even after Russian operatives helped him win the 2016 election.

In the week since the U.S. joined France and the U.K. in launching missiles strikes against the Syrian government in response to its use of chemical weapons, the foray has devolved into yet another political headache for Trump.

And as usual, the problem has been Russia.

On Sunday, Trump’s U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley announced to the world that the U.S. would be rolling out more sanctions against Russia for its support of the murderous Syrian regime. The sanctions were to target Russian companies that helped Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s government in making and deploying chemical weapons.

Haley’s declaration reportedly sent Trump into a rage, as he yelled at his television.

Then, the White House quickly contradicted Haley. When a Trump adviser tried to blame her for the “confusion,” she hit back. “With all due respect,” Haley said, “I don’t get confused.”

By Thursday, it was reported that Trump’s team informed Russian officials there would be no sanctions before Trump even told his own U.S. ambassador.

Bottom line: There will be no additional U.S. penalties against Russia in the wake of the chemical attacks. Once again, Trump caved to the Kremlin.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

When COVID-19 was overwhelming New York City hospitals during the 2020 spring, a silly talking point in right-wing media was that residents of red states didn't need to worry about the pandemic because it only posed a threat to Democratic areas. But COVID-19, just as health experts predicted, found its way to red states in a brutal way. And the current COVID-19 surge is especially severe in red states that have lower vaccination rates. Journalist David Leonhardt, in an article published by the New York Times this week, examines a disturbing pattern: red states where residents are more likely to be anti-vaxxers and more likely to be infected with COVID-19 and die from it.

Keep reading... Show less

Gov. Doug Ducey with Senate President Karen Fann and former President Donald Trump

The Republican-led Arizona election audit found that President Joe Biden actually won by a slightly wider margin than initially reported, but Trump supporters are still demanding that the election results be overturned.

In fact, according to, the demands have increased since the audit results were made public. Arizona's Republican Gov. Doug Ducey reportedly received approximately 300 emails a day on Saturday and Sunday demanding that he decertify the state's results for the 2020 presidential election.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}