CNN’s Jake Tapper asked UN Ambassador Nikki Haley if President Trump is still concerned about starting ‘World War III’ over Syria.
Trump’s base is now very divided over his actions in Syria. A lot of people who voted for him thought he wasn’t going to get militarily involved in foreign countries (unless the United States got attacked). Most of his supporters believed his campaign rhetoric. Here’s what he had to say in Watertown, Iowa back in September:
I think he was right on a lot of points. I wish he could have maintained those principles into his presidency.
Now, it seems he’s been convinced by those who surround him that our only option is to be involved militarily with Middle Eastern countries.
The Trump administration is trying to assure us that bombing Syria in no way constitutes a shift in policy. I beg to differ. It’s clearly a shift in policy compared to how Trump campaigned and what his position was specifically on Syria when Obama was president. The above video and a whole series of scathing tweets are testament to that.
While Trump may have angered half his support base over his military intervention in Syria, he may have actually gained support elsewhere. You notice a lot of establishment Democrats and Republicans, and the mainstream media giving respect to Trump for his ‘presidential’ actions? They may not agree with every detail of what he ordered, but they all support what he did. It seems he’s been initiated into the establishment.
Jake Tapper asked Nikki Haley about this seeming shift in policy:
TAPPER: While I’m not second-guessing the decision, you know, as I said, it’s not the first chemical weapons attack. It’s not the worst chemical weapons attack. And, in fact, during the campaign, President Trump warned against getting involved militarily in Syria.
Take a listen.
TAPPER: So, he was worried about starting World War III over Syria. Why is that no longer a concern? And why was the 2013 chemical weapons attack, which, as you know, was deadlier, not a trigger for him in terms of the principle of action in Syria?
HALEY: Well, he wasn’t president in 2013. And I can tell you–
TAPPER: But he opposed it. He opposed action.
HALEY: But I don’t know what his thought process was then. I can tell you what his thought process was this week, which was, he is not going to condone chemical weapons use ever.
And so what you saw was, he wasn’t just going to say it. He was going to act. And what we have seen at the United Nations is a huge sigh of relief. They’re just so thankful that the United States led on this issue.
And we called out Russia, because we needed to. We put Iran on notice, because that — we need to get that influence out of there. And we told Syria, we are not going to watch this anymore.
And so what the president chooses to do, I hope that what Iran sees and Syria sees and Russia sees is that this is a president that’s not afraid to act, and that he does expect to move towards a political solution. And they have to show genuine willingness to do that.
TAPPER: He’s not concerned anymore, though, about this being a potential quagmire or about this potentially starting World War III?
HALEY: I can tell you that, of the conversations I had this week, he knew what the risks were, he knew what the situation was, he looked at the history of the situation, and he decided.
And I think his decision was right. And I think you can see that from the international community. They all fully support it.
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