Politics

Trump will address the nation Sunday morning with a 'major statement' after cryptic tweet

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump will make a "major statement" to the nation at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, the White House said.
  • It wasn't immediately clear what Trump would discuss in his speech.
  • Trump tweeted Saturday night that "Something very big has just happened!" but did not follow up with further details.
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President Donald Trump will make a "major statement" to the nation at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, the White House said late Saturday night.

It wasn't immediately clear what Trump would discuss in his speech. The president tweeted earlier Saturday night that "Something very big has just happened!" but did not follow up with further details.

"The President of the United States will be making a major statement tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock from the White House," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement that came more than an hour after Trump's tweet. The White House initially said Judd Deere, another spokesman, had made the statement.

Various media outlets, including NBC News, reported that U.S. forces had carried out an operation in Syria that targeted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the terrorist group ISIS. Officials believed Baghdadi was killed in the operation, although, as of early Sunday morning, there had yet to be confirmation.

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The cryptic tweet and subsequent announcement from the White House come as the president faces increasing heat from an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, had told House investigators that he believed Trump's demands of Ukraine – to investigate potential 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son, and to help with a probe of alleged interference in the 2016 election – in exchange for aid amounted to a quid pro quo. Trump has repeatedly denied that it was a quid pro quo.

He has also been embroiled in controversy following his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which resulted in Turkish forces attacking Kurdish fighters. It also triggered the escape of several prisoners who were part of ISIS.

The Trump administration is also engaged in high-stakes trade talks with China. After several stops and starts, and escalating tariffs, there have been recent signs of progress in negotiations – despite one of his chief advisors, Peter Navarro, apparently resisting parts of an early-stage agreement.

The news also comes after reports that Attorney General William Barr's review of the origins of the Russia probe that plagued much of Trump's first term in office had become a criminal investigation.

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