Wednesday at a joint press conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, President Donald Trump said the use of chemical weapons in Syria Tuesday crossed “many, many lines — beyond a red line.”
Partial transcript as follows:
PACE: Mr. President, you condemned the chemical attacks in Syria, but you appeared in your statement yesterday to pin some of the blame on the Obama administration. You’re the president now. Do you feel like you bear responsibility for responding to the chemical attacks, and does the chemical attack cross a red line for you?
TRUMP: Well, I think the Obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis a long time ago when he said the red line in the sand. And when he didn’t cross that line after making the threat. I think that set us back a long way, not only in Syria but in many other parts of the world because it was a blank threat. I think it was something that was not one of our better days as a country. So I do feel that. I feel it very strongly.
PACE: Do you feel like you now have some responsibility to respond to the chemical attacks?
TRUMP: I now have responsibility and I will have that responsibility and carry it very proudly. I will tell you that it is now my responsibility. It was a great opportunity missed. As you know, I’ll be meeting with the president of China very soon in Florida, and that’s another responsibility we have, and that’s called the country of North Korea. We have a big problem. We have somebody that is not doing the right thing, and that’s going to be my responsibility. But I’ll tell you, that responsibility could have been made a lot easier if it was handled years ago.
PACE: Before I move on to the king, can I ask you if the chemical attack crosses a red line for you?
TRUMP: It crossed a lot of lines for me when you kill innocent children, innocent babies, babies, little babies, with a chemical gas that is so lethal, people were shocked to hear what gas it was. That crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line, many, many lines. Thank you very much.
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