In mid-2014, an international coalition led by the United States intervened against ISIL in Syria and Iraq with an airstrike campaign, in addition to supplying and reinvigorating ISIL's enemies in the Iraqi Security Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces, all dealt a blow to the nascent proto-state's finance and military This was followed by a smaller-scale Russian intervention exclusively in Syria, in which ISIL lost thousands more fighters to airstrikes, cruise missile attacks, and other Russian military activities and had its financial base even further degraded. In July 2017, the group lost control of its largest city, Mosul, to the Iraqi army, followed by the loss of its de facto political capital of Raqqa to the Syrian Democratic Forces. ISIL continued to lose territory to the various states and other military forces allied against it. US military officials and simultaneous military analyses reported in December 2017 that the group retained a mere 2% of the territory they had previously held. On 10 December 2017, Iraq's Prime Minister said that Iraqi forces had driven the last remnants of the Islamic State from the country. By 23 March 2019, ISIL lost one of their last territories in the Middle East in the Deir ez-Zor campaign, surrendering their "tent city" and pockets in Al-Baghuz Fawqani to the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Trump has privately and publicly mused about taking away critical reporters' White House press credentials. His administration moved to revoke the press passes of two White House reporters, which were restored by the courts. In 2019, a member of the foreign press reported many of the same concerns as those of media in the U.S., expressing concern that a normalization process by reporters and media results in an inaccurate characterization of Trump. The Trump White House held about a hundred formal press briefings in 2017, declining by half during 2018 and to two in 2019.More Info
After the whistleblower complaint became known in September 2019, House speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24. The Trump administration subsequently released a memorandum of the July 25 phone call, confirming that after Zelensky mentioned purchasing American anti-tank missiles, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate and to discuss these matters with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr. According to the testimony of multiple administration officials and former officials, the events were part of a broader effort to further Trump's personal interests by giving him an advantage in the upcoming presidential election.More Info
Several studies and surveys have found that racist attitudes fueled Trump's political ascendance and have been more important than economic factors in determining the allegiance of Trump voters. Racist and islamophobic attitudes have been shown to be a powerful indicator of support for Trump. In a June 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, 49 percent of respondents believed he was racist, while 47 percent believed he was not. Additionally, 55 percent said he "has emboldened people who hold racist beliefs to express those beliefs publicly".More Info
The connections between Trump associates and Russia have been widely reported by the press. One of Trump's campaign managers, Paul Manafort, had worked from December 2004 until February 2010 to help pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovych win the Ukrainian presidency. Other Trump associates, including former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and political consultant Roger Stone, have been connected to Russian officials. Russian agents were overheard during the campaign saying they could use Manafort and Flynn to influence Trump.Members of Trump's campaign and later his White House staff, particularly Flynn, were in contact with Russian officials both before and after the November election. On December 29, 2016, Flynn talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions that had been imposed the same day; Flynn later resigned in the midst of controversy over whether he misled Pence. The Washington Post reported that Trump had told Kislyak and Sergei Lavrov in May 2017 he was unconcerned about Russian interference in U.S. elections.More Info
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