WH: ‘Outrageous to Say' Trump Greenlit Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

By Melanie Arter | April 9, 2018 | 8:51pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House on Monday pushed back on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) suggestion that President Donald Trump gave a green light to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to launch a chemical attack on the Syrian people by announcing last week that he planned to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

“Look, we're still there, and I think that it is outrageous to say that the president of the United States greenlit something as atrocious as the actions that have taken place over the last several days, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

“The president, once again, made very clear how he feels about those types of actions when this took place roughly a year ago, and we're going to continue looking at all of our options on the table currently,” she added.

“President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria. Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma,” McCain said in a press release on Sunday.

“Initial accounts show dozens of innocent civilians, including children, have been targeted by this vicious bombardment designed to burn and choke the human body and leave victims writhing in unspeakable pain,” he said.

“As the president noted yesterday, and again today during the Cabinet meeting, the chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians is horrifying. The images, especially of suffering children, have shocked the conscience of the entire civilized world,” Sanders said.

“Sadly, these actions are consistent with Assad’s established pattern of chemical weapons use,” the press secretary said. “His forces are already responsible for previous chemical weapons attacks and other actions targeting civilians.

“The president has noted that Russia and Iran also bear responsibility for these acts, since they would not be possible without their material support. It is also now clear that Russia has betrayed its obligations to guarantee the end of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.

The president and his national security team are consulting closely with allies and partners to determine the appropriate response,” Sanders said.

As President Trump clearly stated, there will be a price to pay. We call on all members of the international community to share any information related to this attack and to hold the perpetrators and their sponsors accountable, and we call upon the Syrian regime and Russia to open the area to international medical assistance and international monitoring,” she said.


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