President Donald Trump's son Eric says his father's decision to launch a cruise missile attack on Syria proves he is neither involved with Russia, nor will he be "pushed around" by Vladimir Putin, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The president's second-eldest son also told the British news outlet the missile strike decision might have been influenced by his sister Ivanka, whom Eric said was "heartbroken and outraged" by the Syrian chemical bombing attack.
Speaking at the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, the 33-year-old Eric Trump, who runs his father's business empire with brother Donald Jr., flatly rejected allegations of the president's links with Moscow as "ridiculous."
"If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie," he said. "If they disrespect us and if they cross us, fine: There will be no one harder. He has got more backbone than anybody. We're no worse off than we were before. Maybe we're finding that we can't be."
He also said his father is not cowed by Putin's threats of military escalation over Syria.
"He is not a guy who gets intimidated," Eric Trump said. "I can tell you he is tough, and he won't be pushed around. The cards will shake out the way they do, but he's tough."
The younger Trump said his father was "deeply affected" by the television images in the aftermath of the Syrian chemical attack of children being "sprayed down by hoses to keep their skin from burning."
"It was horrible," he said. "These guys are savages, and I'm glad he responded the way he responded," adding: "Ivanka is a mother of three kids, and she has influence. I'm sure she said, 'Listen, this is horrible stuff.' My father will act in times like that."
"And by the way, he was anti doing anything with Syria two years ago," Eric Trump said. "Then a leader gasses their own people, women, and children. At some point, America is the global leader, and the world’s superpower has to come forward and act – and they did, with a lot of support of our allies, and I think that's a great thing."
He said his father is "a great thinker, practical – not impulsive," the Telegraph reported. "I'm proud he took that action, and believe me, he thinks things through."
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