Post Reports

As U.S. military plans pullout, a stunning unraveling in Syria

Missy Ryan talks about how the fight in Syria connects to U.S. diplomacy. Michelle Ye Hee Lee on the army of consultants behind Trump’s reelection campaign. Plus, Scott Wilson on the unpopular way California utility companies are fighting wildfires.
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Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

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A turning point in the Syrian-Kurd conflict, and U.S. policy
Just over a week ago, President Trump announced the removal of troops in northern Syria. That announcement has sparked a chain of events along the Syria-Turkey border, in what appears to be the quick unraveling of longstanding U.S. policy. 

Missy Ryan, who covers the Pentagon and national security for The Post, says Kurds in Syria believe “America has abandoned them and left them to their fate against this much better-armed Turkish military.”

The withdrawal of U.S. forces in northern Syria has upended long-standing U.S. policy, Ryan says. And the effect of that decision is having a rippling effect within the Trump administration and with Turkey. 

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How Trump’s 2020 campaign is creating a new political consulting class
Donald Trump’s lean presidential campaign — with its few political consultants and its shoestring budget — was a point of pride in 2016 for the businessman-turned-candidate, who promised to “drain the swamp” of longtime Washington insiders and pollsters. 

But the president’s reelection campaign for the 2020 election looks nothing like before. Trump’s campaign and supporting committees have spent nearly half a billion dollars, with a large chunk going to the new class of political consultants who rode Trump’s coattails to Washington.

“He has spent more money than any of [his] predecessors had at this point in the campaign,” says reporter Michelle Ye Hee Lee. “And that’s because President Trump’s campaign never ended.”

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Power is back on in California, but questions remain about the intentional blackout
Last week, a million people were without power in Northern California. The utility company Pacific Gas and Electric shut off power to lessen the risk of wildfires amid predictions of dry, heavy winds, which can knock down power lines and spark a fire. 

“It felt a lot to people like it was a political act by Pacific Gas and Electric,” says senior national correspondent Scott WIlson. PG&E is now in bankruptcy after being held responsible for last year’s Camp fire, and the utility company is pushing for California to change the laws. “It felt a little bit like a public negotiation taking place to people who were losing business and schools that were canceled and a lot of small and large inconveniences that rippled across the region last week.”

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.