Trump Says He’s ‘Flexible’ on Syrian Response

By Melanie Arter | April 5, 2017 | 7:02pm EDT
President Donald Trump (AP Photo)

( - President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will be “flexible” in his response to the chemical attack in Syria, which he said made “a big impact” on him.

When asked how he would distinguish his actions on Syria from the inaction of the Obama administration, the president said, “I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don’t have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way, I don’t change, well, I do change, and I am flexible, and I’m proud of that flexibility,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in the White House Rose Garden.


“I will tell you that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me, big impact. It was a horrible, horrible thing, and I’ve been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that,” he said.

“I have that flexibility, and it’s very, very possible, and I will tell you it’s already happened, that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much, and if you look back over the last few weeks, there were other attacks using gas,” the president added.

Trump said the U.S. got out of the Middle East “the wrong way, and ISIS formed in a vacuum.”

He said yesterday’s chemical attack “is unacceptable to me.”

“Last year, you seemed to be reluctant to get involved or to intervene in Syria directly. Is that one thing that’s changed after yesterday?” a reporter asked.

“One of the things I think you’ve noticed about me is militarily, I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing, and I watched past administrations say, We will attack at such and such a day at such and such an hour, and you being a warrior, you would say why are they saying that, and I’m sure you sat back in Jordan, and you said, why are they saying that,” Trump said to King Abdullah II.

“I watched Mosul, where the past administration were saying we will be attacking in four months, and I said, why are they doing that? Then a month goes by, and they say, we will be attacking in three months, and then two months, and then we will be attacking next week, and I’m saying why are they doing that, and as you know Mosul turned out to be a much harder fight than anyone thought, and a lot of people have been lost in that fight. I’m not saying I’m doing anything one way or the other, but I’m certainly not going to be telling you,” he said.

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