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Gorka: Syria Strike Consistent with Trump Campaign Position

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President and former National Security editor for Breitbart News, discussed President Trump’s Cuba policy, America’s downing of a Syrian warplane, and the release of American hostage Otto Warmbier from North Korea on Monday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily.

“We’re not going to pretend any more that all those ‘cultural visits’ to Cuba aren’t in fact tourism, and the fact that every time an American goes to Cuba and spends ten dollars, nine of those dollars go straight to the Communist Party and to the repressive regime,” Gorka said of the Trump administration’s policy shift on Cuba.

“We’re not going to permit people to support a Communist system that represses the Cuban people. We stand with the Cuban people, but we are rescinding those measures that permitted Americans to use their money to inadvertently, or on purpose, support that evil regime,” he told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Marlow described President Trump’s tough rhetoric on Cuba as a “remarkable” change from the previous administration, noting that Trump seems very confident his approach will succeed in bringing real change to the island at long last.

“The irony is that the left always portrays itself as the great protector and champion of human rights, and especially the last presidential administration,” Gorka observed. “But this, these actions that we have taken, the president has taken this week, these are the true human rights actions. The idea that we have, just a few dozen miles off the coast of the United States, a repressive Communist regime – which still holds political prisoners, that is a one-party system – talking honestly about that reality, that is the greatest thing we could do for human rights in our hemisphere.”

Marlow asked about the morning’s big foreign policy story, the downing of a Syrian warplane by a U.S. fighter jet and Russia’s belligerent response, sarcastically asking how the incident fits into the media narrative of President Trump “colluding” with Russia in the 2016 election.

“You’re such a conspiracy theorist!” Gorka jokingly exclaimed. “Yes, this is, of course, the reality on the ground. The fact is, the president is committed – he’s not an interventionist, but he has said again, and again, and again when it comes to Syria, the bloodshed must stop. We have zero interest, and he’s been explicit in this on the campaign trail and after January 20th, we have no interest in invading other people’s countries and occupying them. For the president, that is un-American.”

“But when you have a quarter of a million people killed in a civil war, when you have the use of chemical weapons against women and children, we will take action,” he continued. “Because there is a moral imperative here, and as you saw at the weekend, we will take action against regimes that are as heinous as Assad’s regime.”

Marlow asked if the administration has seen any positive movement from the Syrian government as a result of the tougher stance taken by the new U.S. president.

“There are sometimes noises, but they vacillate. They go back and forth,” Gorka replied. “So what we’re looking for right now is a maintenance of a posture that actually expresses some recognition of reality – the fact that they fundamentally painted themselves into a corner, they have very few friends left, and that they need to come to the table.”

“We’re not interested in just physical force,” he emphasized. “At the end of the day, there has to be a resolution that allows refugees to go home, that allows the creation of safe areas. At the moment, it’s early days, but we will continue to maintain the pressure by ourselves, with our allies and our partners, until Damascus realizes there really are very few options left open for them.”

Marlow asked if this level of involvement in the Syrian civil war is inconsistent with Trump’s campaign promises.

“I don’t think so because it’s completely consistent with the overarching message that a world without American leadership is a dangerous world – dangerous not just for our partners and our allies, but also for Americans as well,” Gorka responded.

“I tell people there is no difference between the Donald Trump of January the 19th or the Commander-in-Chief of January the 20th. They’re exactly the same. The campaign promises are being kept. Just remember that photograph of Mr. Bannon’s office and the list behind him on the whiteboard. We are committed, absolutely committed, to the promises the president made,” he said, referring to the written policy agenda maintained by Steve Bannon, White House strategist and formerly chief executive of Breitbart News.

“I know it’s shocking for some, but this is one politician who’s actually going to keep his promises,” Gorka declared.

Marlow concluded the interview by asking about the release of American hostage Otto Warmbier from North Korea after over a year in captivity – most of that time in a coma, as the world learned after his release was arranged.

“Let’s leave the participants to talk for themselves,” Gorka advised. “I commend everybody to listen to Otto’s father’s statement after his son was released, thanks to the good offices of Rex Tillerson and other members of this administration. He said basically the Obama administration refused to do anything effective to free their son. He said they weren’t prepared to wait any longer for ‘strategic patience.’”

“Why did Otto’s father use that phrase? Because that phrase is from the Obama-era national security strategy,” Gorka pointed out. “We, like Otto’s father, reject strategic patience, because that means you let other people take the advantage – bad people like North Korea, like Russia, like China. As such, we are no longer going to follow that path. We are reasserting American leadership, and that’s why that man is now free.”

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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