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that was unexpected
March 21, 2019

President Trump just unleashed an incredibly consequential foreign policy decision in a single tweet — but what else is new.

Just a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump decided that America would recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory. Syria and Israel have fought over the 460-square mile plateau for more than half a century, yet Trump settled its fate, at least in American eyes, in one surprising Thursday tweet.

Golan was Syrian land until Israel seized it in 1967, sparking a constant fight between the neighbors. Most recently, Israel has accused the Iran-backed group Hezbollah of setting up a terrorist cell in the region, per the Times of Israel. Netanyahu was expected to push Trump to support Israel's control over the region when they met next week, and three GOP lawmakers pleaded with Trump to do the same last week.

The move is largely seen as a strategic boost to Netanyahu's struggling re-election campaign, The New York Times notes. Beyond meeting with Trump, Netanyahu is also scheduled to speak to the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, which has recently been subject to increasing opposition from far-left Democrats. Kathryn Krawczyk

February 1, 2019

Chris Christie's friendships truly bridge the political spectrum.

In a Friday interview with The Washington Post, the Republican and former New Jersey governor heaped praise on Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who just became the latest addition to 2020's presidential candidate swarm. Christie said he and Booker have been "friends for 15 years," and from his experience, the fellow New Jerseyite has "a legitimate chance to be a serious potential problem for the president."

When asked to describe Booker, Christie quickly listed the senator as "talented, smart, articulate." He touted Booker's more conservative viewpoints on school vouchers and how the former Newark mayor was "tough on crime," but cautioned that Booker would could only succeed if he didn't "go way wacky left."

Christie's comments come just days after saying he and President Trump "were friends for 17 years." But that use of the past tense hints that maybe, just maybe, he's taken his relationships a step to the left. Kathryn Krawczyk

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