President Donald Trump on Tuesday tried to clarify his administration’s policy toward Syria after ordering missile strikes on a Syrian air base last week in response to a chemical attack.
“We’re not going into Syria because you know there were some questions,” Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “But when I see people using horrible, horrible chemical weapons—which they agreed not to use under the Obama administration, but they violated it.”
Trump’s policy toward Syria was unclear following Thursday’s strikes, with members of his administration offering slightly different explanations for how the President would proceed going forward. Trump on Tuesday said that his administration would not get involved in Syria, but did not define exactly what that meant.
“Are we going to get involved with Syria? No,” he told Fox Business. “But if I see them using gas and using things that—I mean, even some of the worst tyrants in the world didn’t use the kind of gases that they used.”
He also criticized his predecessor Barack Obama’s policy toward Syria.
“What I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it,” Trump said. “I think Syria would be a lot better off right now than it has been.”
And the President echoed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in calling out Russia for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Putin is backing a person that’s truly an evil person, and I think it’s very bad for Russia. I think it’s very bad for mankind. It’s very bad for this world,” Trump said.
“I really think that there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Russia to make sure that peace happens,” he added. “Because frankly if Russia didn’t go in and back this animal, you wouldn’t have a problem right now. He was going to be overthrown. And then Russia came in and saved him.”
Watch a clip from the interview via Fox Business: