President Trump had claimed that a planned attack on four American embassies was a justification for the strike on an Iranian general.
Edward WongThe latest look at how top Trump officials have changed their stories about why they killed Iranian general Qassim Suleimani & intel of an “imminent attack.” They contradict themselves between TV appearances on the same day. By @peterbakernyt@Tmgneff.
Mr. Trump has yet to resolve the two conflicting instincts on national security that emerge from his speeches and his Twitter feed: bellicosity and disengagement.
Edward WongSober analysis of Trump's Iran "strategic muddle" by @SangerNYT. It's "hard to see how the two countries could break out of their cycle of confrontation and revenge.” Expect to see more violence, not less — and to see Iran accelerate its nuclear program.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is struggling to manage the widening fallout from the drone strike on Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
Edward WongPompeo upended Middle East by pushing Trump to kill Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani. Now he's struggling with upheavals that have taken Trump by surprise. The US is warning Americans worldwide they could be in danger. w/ @jakesNYT.
Edward WongOur story on how Pompeo pushed Trump to kill Suleimani lays that out. One official said it had been a “mistake” for Pompeo, Trump and others to tell the public there had been intelligence showing an “imminent attack.”
A meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine would have been the first for a top Trump official since the impeachment inquiry began.
Edward WongPompeo’s cancellation today of Ukraine trip could add to suspicions among Ukrainian leaders that Trump ignores Ukraine while embracing Russia & Putin. It’s Pompeo’s 2nd cancellation on Ukraine. State Dept. said @SecPompeo is staying in DC to watch Iraq.
Lawmakers aim to pass veto-proof legislation in 2020 that would punish China over its treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims.
Edward WongNEW: Republican & Democratic lawmakers plan to force Trump to take a harder stand on global human rights abuses in 2020. One target: China, for detaining 1 million Muslims in camps. Lawmakers are also angry at Turkey & Saudi Arabia. w/ @CatieEdmondson.
Emails also suggest President Trump first began asking about $250 million in Pentagon aid after a June 19 article in the Washington Examiner.
Edward WongNew info on Trump pressuring Ukraine for favors: White House froze Pentagon aid to Ukraine just 90 minutes after Trump had his July 25 phone call with Zelensky. And Trump may have begun asking about the aid on June 19, after seeing a news story on it.
The contrast over U.S. demands to protect Chinese Uighurs and Myanmar’s Rohingya will be an undercurrent in high-level meetings with India this week.
Edward WongWhy isn’t the State Dept. & @SecPompeo taking a harder line on treatment of Muslims by Modi’s Hindu nationalist government in India? After all, Pompeo talks about religious freedom & criticizes China & Myanmar for their policies on Muslims. By @jakesNYT.
The diplomats were expelled after they drove onto a base that houses the headquarters of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6. China’s denial of the accusations is the first official acknowledgment of the episode.
Edward WongNEW scoop on the Chinese diplomats expelled for spying: They breached base that has HQ of Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6. And China demands US reverse expulsions. China has officially confirmed our first scoop, but not @StateDept or any US agency. w/ @johnismay.
Chinese Embassy officials trespassed onto a Virginia base that is home to Special Operations forces. Their expulsions added to tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Edward WongNEW: US secretly expelled 2 Chinese diplomats suspected of spying — the first time in more than 30 years. The men & their wives drove onto Va. military base w/ Special Ops forces. Guards pursued them & fire trucks finally blocked them. w/ @julianbarnes.
Asiye Abdulaheb told a Dutch newspaper that she helped spread documents exposing China’s detentions of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.
Edward WongNEW: A Uighur-Dutch woman tells @nytimes how she helped leak secret Chinese Communist Party files on internment camps with 1 million+ Muslims. @ICIJorg reported on the docs. She first told a Dutch newspaper of her role to try to protect her and her family.
Before issuing his own condolences, the president channeled the Saudi king’s, and avoided any discussion of the hard questions about why the U.S. is training Saudi officers.
Edward WongTrump’s first instinct is to defend Saudi Arabia — even after a member of the Saudi military shot dead 3 and injured 8 in Florida. One analyst said Trump has become a “Saudi apologist.” Congress is increasingly disenchanted with the Saudis. By @SangerNYT.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not explicitly endorse legislation to support pro-democracy activists from Chinese-backed crackdowns, but noted standards that Beijing should heed.
Edward WongPompeo declined to endorse a bill supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Trump might not sign it. He did say Chinese leaders need to be aware of policies that weaken HK’s autonomous status — which could affect US & HK trade. By @jakesNYT.
The citywide district council election, normally a quiet, local affair, is seen as a referendum on the demonstrations.
Edward WongHong Kong after 6 months of protests: Record turnout in district council elections. Pro-democracy candidates will likely perform well. Junius Ho, the infamous pro-Beijing politician, already said he has lost. By @austinramzy@yuenok@KeithBradsher.