Troops at U.S.-Mexican border to start coming home

U.S.-Mexico border

“Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan. | Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon is set to begin a drawdown of its 5,800 troops from the Southwest border as early as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told POLITICO today — even as the approaching caravan of refugees prompted U.S. customs officers to close a port of entry near Tijuana, Mexico.

All the active-duty troops that President Donald Trump ordered sent to the border before the midterm elections should be home by Christmas, said Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who is running the mission from San Antonio, Texas.

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Buchanan also confirmed previous reports that the military rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for an armed force to back up Border Patrol agents in the event of a violent confrontation.

“That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” Buchanan said.

He said the troop deployment should start falling rapidly as engineer and logistics troops — some the largest parts of the deployment — wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.

“Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who leads the ground component of U.S. Northern Command.

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Trump to give Mueller written answers by Thanksgiving

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview broadcast Sunday that he is unlikely to sit down for a face-to-face interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. | Alex Wong/Getty Images


Trump’s lawyers set an informal Thanksgiving deadline for the president to finalize his responses to inquiries about the Russian hacking of the 2016 election.

President Donald Trump will give special counsel Robert Mueller written responses to a slate of questions as early as Tuesday.

Trump’s lawyers set an informal Thanksgiving deadline for the president to finalize his responses on topics surrounding the Russian hacking of the 2016 election, and he’s almost ready to submit them, according to two sources familiar with the conversations.

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The president’s written answers — which carry the same legal burden for truthfulness as an in-person interview — are likely to be submitted as Trump settles into his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. Trump is scheduled to depart Washington, D.C., on Tuesday afternoon.

Trump over the past week has spent several hours with his legal team, including Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow and Jane Raskin, finalizing his answers to questions from the special counsel focusing on his time before he was sworn in as president.

Still unclear is whether Mueller and Trump will reach agreement on any format for responding to the special counsel’s wider obstruction-of-justice investigation involving the president’s time in office, including his May 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey.

In an interview earlier this month, Giuliani said Trump’s lawyers were engaged in “very sensitive negotiations” with Mueller that could lead to a voluntary interview or another round of written questions on topics associated with events after January 2017.

Mueller also has the option of issuing a subpoena and forcing a historic legal fight with the president, something the president’s lawyers argue they’d challenge in court.

“I wouldn’t argue that you can never subpoena a president. I would argue that you can’t in this particular case because, to subpoena a president, you have a burden you don’t have with anybody else,” Giuliani said. “You’ve got to show a real need for it. A real need for it in terms of developing your case and not a real need in order to try to trap him. Trapping is not a legal legitimate objective.”

Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview broadcast Sunday that he is unlikely to sit down for a face-to-face interview with Mueller.

“We gave very, very complete answers to a lot of questions that I shouldn’t have even been asked, and I think that should solve the problem. I hope it solves the problem. If it doesn’t, you know, I’ll be told and we’ll make a decision at that time. But probably this is the end,” the president said.

“I think we’ve wasted enough time on this witch hunt and the answer is probably, we’re finished,” Trump added.

Once submitted, Trump’s written answers will mark the end of at least one critical phase of the Mueller probe that dates back to the start of the investigation.

The president told reporters in the spring of 2017 that he was “100 percent” willing to testify under oath about alleged Russian ties to his campaign. His lawyers at the time were even gearing up to offer Trump for an interview by Thanksgiving 2017 had Mueller not yet requested a sit-down.

Trump has since backtracked on his in-person interview pledge, and his lawyers have instead tried repeatedly to get Mueller to accept written answers. The special counsel rejected that approach at least once, Giuliani told POLITICO in May. More recently, Mueller did send over questions related to the Russian hacking, though Giuliani insisted the president was under no obligation to answer all of them.

“As you might imagine, some questions are, from our view, more relevant than others,” Giuliani said.

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Pelosi’s bid for speaker imperiled as public opposition grows

Nancy Pelosi

The threat by Nancy Pelosi’s critics — whom some on Capitol Hill have dubbed the “rebels” or the “revolutionaries” — has the potential to throw the entire party into chaos. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images


Sixteen Democrats released a letter promising to vote against the California Democrat on the House floor.

Sixteen Democrats vowed Monday to oppose Nancy Pelosi for speaker on the House floor, placing the California Democrat’s bid to reclaim the gavel in serious jeopardy.

In a highly anticipated letter that went public Monday, the Democrats called Pelosi “a historic figure.“

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But, they added, “Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington. We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise.“

The show-of-force underscores the depth of the challenge facing Pelosi, who has led the caucus for 16 years. Pelosi needs 218 votes among lawmakers present and voting to be elected speaker on Jan. 3. House Democrats have won 233 seats, meaning Pelosi can currently only afford to lose 15 votes.

The letter includes 11 incumbents, four incoming freshman and one candidate, Ben McAdams of Utah, whose race has not been called.

The letter does not include at least three additional Democratic lawmakers or members-elect who have confirmed to POLITICO that they intend to oppose Pelosi on the floor: Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Jason Crow of Colorado.

That would bring Pelosi’s opponents to a total of 19 members or members-elect committed to voting against her — enough to keep her from becoming speaker should these members refuse to budge.

Three House races in Utah, Georgia and Texas have not been called but are trending toward the Republican incumbents. Should Democrats be victorious, Pelosi could have more wiggle-room and could lose as many as 18 votes.

Pelosi has defiantly said she will win a speaker vote and has no intention of withdrawing. Her allies predict she will take this fight all the way to the House floor and will wear down her opponents.

“If your strategy relies upon Nancy Pelosi giving up, you will lose every single time,” said a senior Democratic aide. “Ninety-four percent of the Caucus didn’t sign this letter.”

Monday’s letter, however, suggests that Pelosi’s pressure campaign to wrestle the needed votes has so far fallen short, though her allies note that they still have more than a month to crank up the heat and get these critics in line.

Letter signers include: Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Filemon Vela Jr. (D-Texas), Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), as well as candidates-elect Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), Max Rose (D-N.Y.) and Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.) and candidate McAdams.

Pelosi has isolated some threats against her. Several dozen Democratic candidates, for example, ran and were elected on a promise to oppose her or back “new leadership.” Pelosi has been meeting with these members and appears to be making gains with a group of them.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, for example, vowed during the campaign to oppose Pelosi, even running a commercial saying so. But Pelosi’s allies have been working on Sherrill, who no longer publicly reiterates those intentions.

Additional, Pelosi’s critics had been trying for weeks to garner 20 signatories on their letter. They fell short of their own goal by four names — five if McAdams, whose race has not been called, is excluded.

Still there’s no denying the gravity of the predicament before Pelosi. And simple math suggests that the minority leader will have to cut some sort of deal with her critics.

Many of the letter’s signers have told POLITICO that nothing can buy them off — no plum committee posts or chairmanships, as have been used as a carrot for Pelosi critics in the past. Van Drew of New Jersey told POLITICO last week that he wasn’t changing his mind for anything.

“I expressed my view and I’m not going to be voting for her — not in caucus and not on the floor,” he said.

But Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Pelosi critic who is considering a bid for speaker as well, suggested to POLITICO in a Friday interview that Pelosi could possibly win her support should the Californian declare that she will only serve for one more term. Fudge had signed an earlier version of the letter but appeared to withdraw that signature; she was not on the letter released Monday.

“We talked about some succession plan,” Fudge said after meeting with Pelosi Friday to discuss her potential challenge to the leader. Senior Congressional Black Caucus members were trying to broker peace between the two. “I’d like to know what her plans are [for retirement]. She did not share them with me. But I think that it is something that our caucus is interested in finding out.”

The threat by the Pelosi’s critics — whom some on Capitol Hill have dubbed the “rebels” or the “revolutionaries” — has the potential to throw the entire party into chaos just as Democrats are trying to turn their fire on Donald Trump and pivot toward ousting the president in 2020.

It’s irritated many in the caucus who say they should be fighting Republicans, not each other, and who argue that Pelosi has the know-how to lead the party at such a critical time.

But Pelosi opponents say she has hindered the party and will put newly elected members in red or purple districts in political jeopardy should she force incoming freshmen to vote for her.

“They want the next generation of Democrats to lead the way,” said Rice, one of the letter signers, last week. “It’s nothing personal. … We need to listen to the voters. They sent a great group of young men and women with various different backgrounds who have run for office for the first time and they want change, and hopefully we’re going to be able to bring it to them.”

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NBA Rumors: Joakim Noah, Grizzlies in ‘Extensive’ Contract Talks

New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) reacts during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Washington. The Wizards won 104-100. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies are reportedly considering signing free-agent center Joakim Noah. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, there have been “extensive discussions” between the two sides recently.

Noah hasn’t played yet in 2018-19 after being waived by the New York Knicks in October. He had two seasons remaining on his four-year, $72 million contract, but the team used the stretch provision to reduce the cap hit.

Noah was once one of the more versatile players in the NBA, earning two All-Star selections while being named the 2013-14 Defensive Player of the Year. Unfortunately, he has gone on a downward trend since then and has only appeared in 82 total games since the start of the 2015-16 season.

The 33-year-old has only played seven games in the past two seasons, averaging 1.7 points per game in that time.

This won’t do much to help improve an offense that ranks 28th in the NBA with 103.3 points per game.

Still, he could provide depth and experience for a Grizzlies team that has gotten off to a strong start at 10-5. Adding Noah provides the coaching staff with another proven player at center behind starter Marc Gasol while also allowing rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. to move to power forward if needed.

With 60 playoff starts also on his resume, Noah could be a valuable asset in the locker room.

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Chemical Found In Vape Flavours Linked To Irreversible Condition ‘Popcorn Lung’

If ever you needed another reason to stop vaping, other than the standard, you look ridiculous, then we may just have it, as experts have warned that as well as causing you to become a social outcast, vaping could lead to serious long term health problems.

Medical professionals say a chemical called diacetyl, which is found in flavoured vape pods can cause vapers to develop a condition called ‘popcorn lung’, which is the inflammation of the bronchioles – airways – leading to, among other symptoms, shortness of breath and wheezing.

According to Business Insider, between 2017 and 2018 there was a 78 percent increase in vape users among high school students, and a 48 percent increase for those in middle school.

More than 60 percent of middle school students now use a flavoured e-cigarette.

According to a document released by the US surgeon General’s Office, they have warned against this worrying trend of younger people taking up the popular habit.

But there has been a lot of research into the links between e-cigs and popcorn lung – medical term Bronchiolitis Obliterans – and a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, back in 2015 tested 51 flavored e-cigarettes and found the chemical diacetyl in 39 of them.

The study did not prove that vaping causes popcorn lung; it only showed that some flavored e-cigarette vapors contained this chemical.

It said: “Because of the associations between diacetyl and bronchiolitis obliterans … urgent action is recommended to further evaluate the extent of this new exposure to diacetyl and related flavoring compounds in e-cigarettes.”

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes bronchiolitis obliterans as ‘a serious lung disease that is irreversible’, and diacetyl is banned in UK e-cigarette liquid.

The nickname came about in almost 20 years ado when it was found in a group of workers that had worked at a microwave popcorn factory, where they were found to have inhaled artificial butter flavour.

An investigation into other workers at the factory who had not had breathing issues found that there was a link between the extent of the workers’ airway damage and their exposure to the chemical diacetyl.

According to reports, cases of popcorn lung have also been identified in workers at a diacetyl manufacturing plant and workers at a coffee processing facility.

However, other studies have found the chemical is not only found in e-cigarettes and in fact there are much higher levels of it in regular cigarette smoke.

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Israeli spyware is helping repressive regimes in the Middle East oppress dissidents

In early August, Omar Abdulaziz got a phone call from someone with an alarming message: Your phone might be hacked by spyware.

The prominent Saudi dissident now living in exile near Montreal had been harassed by agents of the Saudi government before, and they’d even arrested his two brothers earlier in the summer. But having his phone hacked was something new, and Abdulaziz wanted to learn more.

A few days later, he sat down with the man who was on the other end of that phone call: Bill Marczak, a researcher specializing in spyware.

Marczak had discovered that somebody in Saudi Arabia, likely somebody working for the Saudi government, had infected the phone of someone in Canada with Israeli-made surveillance software, and he wanted to know who the target was. So Marczak asked Abdulaziz a strangely personal question: Where do you go every day between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.?

Abdulaziz said he generally worked out at his university’s gym during those hours. His movements fit the profile of the spyware’s target — somebody who switched their Wi-Fi network between 5 and 8 p.m. And after searching through Abdulaziz’s iPhone, Marczak found a text message with an innocuous message that he believes infected the Saudi dissident’s device.

Two months later, Citizen Lab, a digital rights group where Marczak is a research fellow, told the world in a report that Abdulaziz’s phone had been hacked by the spyware known as “Pegasus,” created by the Israeli company NSO Group.

“Pegasus” is one of the most sophisticated surveillance products in the world that can crack both iPhones and Androids. Once it infects a device, the spyware captures its target’s personal contacts, pictures, and text messages, and it can listen in on conversations.

“I wasn’t surprised,” said Abdulaziz, who spends his days tweeting and making YouTube videos against Saudi government policies. In May, the Kingdom’s agents had flown to Quebec to lure him back to Saudi Arabia, telling him he had two choices: come home and get paid for his silence, or get picked up at an airport and go to prison, according to recordings of those conversations that the Washington Post reviewed.

Abdulaziz was also worried that his friends, family, and fellow critics of Saudi policy could be in danger.

In recent weeks, Abdulaziz had another sinking feeling — that his conversations with slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could have been monitored by the Saudi government.

“I didn’t want anyone to be harmed because of it,” Abdulaziz told VICE News. “The guilt is killing me. Maybe they were listening to me and Jamal.”

Abdulaziz is one of a growing number of dissidents from powerful Middle Eastern countries to be targeted by Israeli-made spyware.

Experienced in the dark arts of spying and surveillance that have been tested on Palestinians for decades, some Israeli veterans are now selling their skills to the highest bidder. Israeli spy technology has become the most sought-after tool for repressive regimes waging war on dissent, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, despite the fact that these governments lack official diplomatic relations with Israel.

“The guilt is killing me. Maybe they were listening to me and Jamal.”

Privacy advocates warn that this new marketplace between private Israeli firms and powerful government agencies is creating an environment where repressive regimes can purchase powerful spyware and turn it loose on anyone, anywhere they want, threatening free speech and dissent around the world.

“These are technologies that are developed in one of the world’s most advanced cyberpowers with some of the most extensive surveillance capabilities, and has a [Palestinian] population to practice these capabilities on,” said Edin Omanovic, who leads the state surveillance program for Privacy International, a watchdog group. “They then send these tools to countries that lack rule of law. It’s essentially being used purposefully to target human rights defenders and dissidents.”

“The Wild West”Researchers say an increasingly notorious brand of Israeli surveillance software is being used further afield than previously known, with possible infections detected around the globe. (AP Photo/Daniella Cheslow, File)

From August 2016 to August 2018, Marczak and fellow researchers scanned the Internet for servers around the world associated with a specific kind of Israeli-made spyware. In July, he discovered that one of these server operators in Saudi Arabia had infected the phone of someone in Canada with Israeli-made surveillance software. Because this type of spyware is only sold to governments, he determined they were likely working for the Saudi government. In August, Amnesty International reported that one of its researchers, in addition to a Saudi activist, was targeted by the same spyware.

It wouldn’t be the first time researchers have caught Israeli spyware being administered by a repressive regime.

Israel’s surveillance industry is unrivaled. The country, no bigger than the state of New Jersey, has the most surveillance companies per capita in the world, according to a 2016 report by Privacy International, and its products are used in dozens of countries, from the United States to Colombia, from South Sudan to Azerbaijan.

“We are considered to be the best,” said Eran Lerman, a retired colonel who served in senior positions in Israeli military intelligence for over 20 years.

“It’s essentially being used purposefully to target human rights defenders and dissidents.”

This is no accident. It’s the result of the synergy between the Israeli military and private industry, and Israel’s decades of experience building up surveillance capabilities to keep a close watch on the Palestinians it occupies and neighboring hostile states.

The best-known incubator of Israeli high-tech is Unit 8200, the Israeli equivalent of the National Security Agency and the largest Israeli military intelligence unit. Israel’s most elite students are recruited for service into Unit 8200, where they learn how to hack and spy on everyone from Iranian agents to Palestinian teenagers. When they leave their army service, most Unit 8200 veterans go to work in Israel’s booming technology sector. Some Unit 8200 veterans in private industry go back to doing work for the army, but they get paid much more because their private company landed a lucrative contract with the Israeli army.

“Like my mother said: The Unit is the biggest high-tech company in Israel,” one Unit 8200 veteran, who requested anonymity to talk freely about their army service, told VICE News.

Many of Israel’s famous surveillance companies have ties to Unit 8200. Cellebrite, the company known for cracking password-protected iPhones, a capability it reportedly markets to law enforcement agencies, recruits heavily from the unit. MER Group, which sells surveillance products to countries around the world, is run by Nir Lempert, the chairman of the Unit 8200 alumni association. Comverse, another surveillance company, was “directly influenced by 8200 technology,” retired Israeli general Hanan Gefen, a consultant for tech companies, told Forbes. And Unit 8200 veterans are easy to find at NSO Group, which was started by Israeli army veterans. (It’s unclear which particular army unit NSO’s founders served in.)

The NSO Group is today the most notorious among Israel’s surveillance giants. The company counts Francisco Partners, a private equity firm with ties to Blackstone and Goldman Sachs, as its majority stakeholder. NSO Group charges government customers $650,000 for the ability to hack 10 Apple or Android phones, in addition to a $500,000 installation fee, according to NSO Group materials reviewed by The New York Times.

The company has repeatedly said its products are only sold to governments, and that they are used to go after terrorists and criminals. It also says that it has an ethics committee to ensure its products are only used for legitimate purposes. “NSO Group develops cyber technology to allow government agencies to identify and disrupt terrorist and criminal plots. Our product is intended to be used exclusively for the investigation and prevention of crime and terrorism. Any use of our technology that is counter to that purpose is a violation of our policies, legal contracts, and the values that we stand for as a company,” the company told Amnesty International.

But Citizen Lab and Amnesty International have exposed how “Pegasus” has been used by NSO’s clients to target dissidents and journalists around the world, turning their phones into mobile spy devices.

In 2016, Citizen Lab discovered that “Pegasus” infected the phone of Ahmed Mansoor, a democracy advocate in the United Arab Emirates. (Mansoor is currently serving a 10-year sentence because he posted criticism of Emirati authorities on social media.)

“Like my mother said: The Unit is the biggest high-tech company in Israel.”

That wasn’t the only time the NSO Group reportedly sold its software to the United Arab Emirates, a country that doesn’t tolerate any dissent. An NSO Group affiliate, Circles Technologies, assisted an Emirati security agent in hacking the phone of Abdulaziz Alkhamis, a journalist who frequently writes about Gulf politics, according to emails published in a lawsuit against NSO Group that VICE News reviewed. (The New York Times first reported on the emails.)

Citizen Lab has also found two operators who appear to be using NSO’s software in the UAE, one in Bahrain and one in Saudi Arabia.

In addition to targeting Abdulaziz, the Saudi operator of “Pegasus” went after a staffer at Amnesty International who advocated for Saudi women locked up over their activism, and Saudi rights advocate Yahya Assiri, according to Citizen Lab.

“[NSO] has become the go-to company for all the regimes that violate human rights,” said Mazen Masri, who’s part of a legal team that sued NSO Group in Israel and Cyprus (where an NSO affiliate is registered) over alleged privacy violations. “If these regimes are willing to pay the price, they can get the system and they can spy on almost anybody with a smartphone.”

But NSO Group isn’t alone in pushing its products to Gulf Arab states.

Bahrain appears to have used Cellebrite software’s mobile phone cracking technology. The Intercept reported that software was used to get into the phone of Bahraini activist Mohammed al-Singace, who was tortured in prison and locked up on charges of opposition politics, partly based on evidence obtained from his hacked phone.

“When you sell them to countries like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which define serious crime as posting criticism on Twitter, regardless of which company it is — NSO or Cellebrite —you’re going to wind up with these companies’ products being used in human rights violations by these governments,” said Citizen Lab’s Marczak.

“The implications are indeed dire. It quiets civil society and threatens the privacy rights of us all.”

Verint Systems, another Israeli company, also sold surveillance technology to Bahrain, the small Gulf state whose Sunni leaders rule its majority-Shi’a population with an iron first, according to Haaretz. The Israeli paper reported that Verint sold Bahrain systems “typically used by monitoring centers” and “another system used for collecting information from social networks.” Israelis have traveled to the country to train Bahraini security agents in how to use the surveillance system, Haaretz reported.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense, which licenses the export of surveillance tools, did not return requests for comment from VICE News. Neither did the U.S embassies of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. NSO Group, Verint Systems and Cellebrite also did not return requests for comment.

The sophisticated nature of this technology, and the secret sales between private companies and foreign governments, make it next to impossible for researchers to definitively pin the use of this spyware on a specific state, but the impact is clear. Human rights defenders warn that these surveillance companies have created a world where authoritarian leaders can reach far beyond their borders to track and terrorize dissidents.

“It’s the Wild West,” said Danna Ingleton, research and policy adviser at Amnesty International. “The opaque nature of the industry denies targets access to law and justice. The implications are indeed dire. It quiets civil society and threatens the privacy rights of us all.”


Cover: A man takes a photo as the sun rises over the city skyline from a balcony on the 42nd floor of a hotel on a foggy day in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016.

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Mark Sanchez Reportedly Agrees to Contract with Redskins After Alex Smith Injury

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 31:   Mark Sanchez #6 of the Chicago Bears participates in warm-ups before a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns
at Soldier Field on August 31, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Mark Sanchez reportedly agreed to a deal with the Washington Redskins on Monday to provide them with quarterback depth after Alex Smith’s gruesome leg injury.

Per Field Yates of ESPN, Sanchez will serve as Washington’s backup behind Colt McCoy against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. 

Smith, Washington’s new franchise quarterback, fractured two bones in his leg Sunday in a loss to the Houston Texans, leaving McCoy as the team’s only viable option prior to the deal. 

Since leaving the New York Jets, where he started 62 games from 2009-12, Sanchez has bounced around the NFL. His best success came in 2014, when he started eight games for the Philadelphia Eagles and completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 2,418 yards with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. 

Sanchez, 32, spent the 2017 season as the No. 3 quarterback for the Chicago Bears. He earned rave reviews from offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, who has since joined the Miami Dolphins, for mentoring rookie Mitchell Trubisky, per Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times

“Mark was like: ‘No, clear your schedule. This is what you’re doing: a massage, watch tape with your wideouts [and] you need to watch the blitz tape before the Wednesday morning meeting.’ … That kind of guidance and leadership not just coming from myself and [quarterbacks coach Dave] Ragone—that player-to-player accountability—is huge.”

Despite his past struggles as a starting quarterback, Sanchez has turned himself into a valuable asset in building game plans and studying defenses. 

With the Redskins needing depth at the most important position, Sanchez will have no problems acclimating himself. He has enough starting experience to come off the bench and hold things down for a short period of time.       


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