In an extremely rare, if not absolutely unprecedented confession from a sitting American president, Trump stunned a news panel on Tuesday morning in saying he wanted to assassinate President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
“I would’ve rather taken [Assad] out. I had it all set. Mattis didn’t want to do it,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with Fox & Friends.
“I would have rather taken him out” — Trump says he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad, but Mattis stopped him pic.twitter.com/pUcFTSW2w9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 15, 2020
The question has persisted over the past years of war in Syria after Bob Woodward first reported in 2018 that Trump was pursuing it.
At the time Trump had vehemently denied it: “No, that was never even contemplated, nor would it be contemplated and it should not have been written about in the book,” he had previously stated.
But Trump casually described Tuesday that in fact he was seriously considering it, only to be stopped by his Secretary of Defense at the time, Marine general Jim Mattis, which Trump added “was a highly overrated general”.
The Fox hosts quickly followed by asking whether Trump “regretted” not taking out Assad. Trump responded:
“No, I don’t regret that. I could have lived either way with that. I considered [Assad] certainly not a good person. But I had a shot to take him out if I wanted but Mattis was against it.”
The military should “f – king kill” Assad
Trump called the above