President Donald Trump on Thursday said that a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed dozens of civilians “shouldn’t have happened” and suggested that “something should happen” to Syrian President Bashar Assad as a result.
“He’s there and I guess he’s running things, so something should happen,” Trump told pool reporters when asked whether he thinks Assad should leave power. “I think what Assad did is terrible.”
He called the attack “a disgrace to humanity” and “truly one of the egregious crimes.”
“It shouldn’t have happened. And it shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Trump said.
He said that he had not spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country has long supported Assad’s regime, about the attack, but might do so “at some point.”
When pressed to say what specific steps he plans to take, Trump said: “I don’t want to say what I’m going to be doing with respect to Syria.”
Trump on Tuesday claimed that the attack was the consequence of “weakness and irresolution” in President Barack Obama’s administration.
Republican and Democratic senators, however, blamed Trump’s administration for sending signals that encouraged the Syrian regime to “act with impunity.”