President Donald Trump held a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders on Monday when he urged them to support his party in the November midterms, warning of consequences if Republicans lose the elections.
“This November 6 election is very much a referendum on not only me, it’s a referendum on your religion, it’s a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment. It’s a referendum on so much,” President Trump told the religious leaders gathered in the State Dining Room.
Trump further said, “they will overturn everything that we’ve done…quickly and violently.” In a recording of the meeting, obtained by CNN, the president can be heard saying that members of the Antifa could be responsible for that violence.
His comments have been interpreted by some as racist and discriminatory and indicate Trump is trying to keep his supporters on his side now more than ever. They also suggest that President Trump, who often boasts an upcoming “red wave” of voters, may not be as confident that the GOP will win the November elections.
On Tuesday, CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called the president’s remarks racist. The Antifa is widely considered to be an African-American movement, so suggesting they are a violent movement demonstrates racism on the president’s part.
During the meeting, President Trump referred to evangelical leader’s power to influence people.
“You have to hopefully get out and get people to support us. If you don’t, that will be the beginning of ending everything that you’ve gotten,” Trump told the pastors, calling on them to galvanize their congregations and followers to vote.
“I think we’re doing well, I think we’re popular, but there’s a real question as to whether people are going to vote if I’m not on the ballot. And I’m not on the ballot,” Trump added, warning again of unwanted consequences should Republicans lose.
Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.
Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.
The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.
On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.
However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.
Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast
A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.
Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.
“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.
Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.
Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine
The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.
The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios
The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October
19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan
Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence
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