Trump Backpedals On ‘Nice And New And Smart!’ Strike: ‘Could Be Soon … Or Not!’

U.S. President Donald Trump conducts a meeting with state and local officials to unveil his administration's long-awaited infrastructure plan in the State Dining Room at the White House February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The $1.5 trillion plan to repair and rebuild the nation's crumbling highways, bridges, railroads, airports, seaports and water systems is funded with $200 million in federal money with the remaining 80 percent coming from state and local governments.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

After implying that a “nice and new and smart!” missile attack on Syria was imminent on Wednesday, President Donald Trump walked back his warning to Russia about striking its ally for a suspected chemical attack.

“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!” he tweeted early Thursday. “In any event, the United States, under my administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our ‘Thank you America?’”

The rectifying tweet comes after Trump received a swath of criticism on Wednesday for his early-morning warnings to Russia to “get ready” for a missile attack. Wednesday’s tweet was likely in response to reports that Russia planned to shoot down any missile launched at Syria and would target the launching area.

The U.S. has reportedly been quietly working with France and Britain to take retaliatory measures against Syria for a suspected chemical weapon attack that killed at least 40 people in a rebel-held town near Damascus over the weekend. Trump was criticized Wednesday not only for taunting Russia, but also for his hypocrisy in sharing major military operation intelligence on Twitter. Throughout his campaign, Trump criticized former President Barack Obama for announcing military strikes before they were carried out.

While Syria has denied it used chemical weapons against its own citizens, the United Nations health agency on Wednesday said that at least 500 patients in Damascus showed some signs of exposure to toxic chemicals.    

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