President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the United States is “not going into Syria,” just days after firing missiles into the war-torn country in retaliation for Bashar Assad government’s use of chemical weapons.
Trump made the statement during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. Clips of the interview have been released, but the full interview will air Wednesday morning.
“We’re not going into Syria. 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 said, referencing an agreement between the U.S., Russia and Syria to dispose of all chemical weapons in Syria.
“What I did should have been done by the Obama administration a long time before I did it and you would have had a much better, I think, Syria would be a lot better off than it has been.”
Before he became president, Trump was a relentless critic of using force in Syria, often warning then-President Barack Obama not to get involved in Syria.
“President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your “powder” for another (and more important) day!” Trump tweeted in September 2013.
Trump called Assad “an animal” and “an evil person” during the interview, according to tweets from Fox News.
Trump also discussed his plan for tax reform and tax cuts, saying he wants to pass health care legislation first so he can use the savings for his tax plan.
“Health care is going to happen at some point. Now if it doesn’t happen fast enough, I’ll start the taxes. But the tax reform and the tax cuts are better if I can do health care first,” Trump said.