President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that the chemical attack in Syria that left dozens of people dead, including children, had “crossed a lot of lines.”
Speaking at a news conference in the Rose Garden with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Trump condemned the Syrian government’s attack Tuesday on the town of Idlib, which might have included the use of the nerve agent sarin. At least 70 were killed, including children.
“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Trump said. “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies … with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was, that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line.”
Trump’s reference to a “red line” alluded to former President Barack Obama’s ultimatum to Syrian leader Bashar Assad regarding chemical weapons in 2013 — a threat he failed to follow through on.
During his presidential campaign, Trump criticized Obama for not taking more action in Syria when he was in the White House. He also argued that seeking to replace Assad could bring someone even worse tto power.
Obama’s empty threat was “not one of our better days as a country,” Trump said, adding that the responsibility was now his.
Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told The Washington Post that the Assad regime was simply a reality that we have to accept right now.
On Wednesday, Trump said he was “flexible” and reiterated that the attack had a “big impact” on him and his attitude toward Syria, seeming to suggest that changes regarding that outlook might be possible.
Take a look at part of the news conference below:
While Trump said this week’s attack went “beyond a red line,” he did not elaborate what his response, if any, would be.
However, we can almost bet that if Trump did decide to draw a red line, he would stick to it, unlike Obama.
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H/T The Daily Caller