Tags: Donald Trump | Syria | bob corker | chemical | attacks | trump | bashar assad

Corker: Syria Attacks Made Trump Understand Assad Is 'a Monster'

CNN's "New Day"/YouTube 

By    |   Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 01:04 PM

Following this week's deadly chemical attacks in Syria, the Trump administration understands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "a monster," who is supported by both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran, Sen. Bob Corker said Thursday.

"I know military officials are developing plans as to what it is we are supposed to do," the Tennessee Republican told CNN's "New Day" program. "Obviously, the United States doesn't want to get sucked into some long ground war but there are ways that we can send signals to Assad, and I'm sure those plans are being developed."

In addition, Russia must take responsibility for "supporting this brutal monster, which is what he is," Corker said.

"He did the same thing, as we know, back in 2013," said Corker. "We should have hit him then. ...I realize that decisions today are much more difficult, but I'm sure the administration that's looking at this in a mature way and hopefully will develop a way to send a signal to this person. We need to put this guy in jail. He needs to be behind bars. We need to have him before a tribunal and hopefully enough evidence to get the world community behind that effort."

Corker noted that former President Barack Obama used strong language against Assad, but did not follow through, which discredited the United States around the world.

"Our allies are concerned about where we're going to be with him on other issues," said Corker. "I really hope the president doesn't use very strong rhetoric. I hope he'll be measured in what he says, but much stronger in what we do."

In 2013, Corker wrote, along with Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, the document authorizing the use of force in Syria, and he still believes it was the right choice.

However, matters are different now, so that same authorization can't be used, said Corker.

"What happened was President [Obama] took a long walk around the White House and made the decision not to do it," said Corker. "And then an excuse was given and we jumped in the lap of Putin. We really did ... that was the beginning of Putin's awareness that that White House at the time was not going to take any steps to push back. Then we had Crimea. Then we had Ukraine and then you had Russia stepping in to what has happened in Syria. It has tremendous destabilizing efforts that took place all across Europe. This was the beginning of creating Putin."

Corker said he does not believe that the White House remains in Putin's lap, despite comments President Donald Trump made during the campaign and beginning of his administration.

"I was alarmed by some of the comments ... but what I've seen is really a very good evolution," said Corker. "I have seen that with China. I have seen that with Israel. I have seen that with NATO. I think what you saw yesterday was the president understanding more clearly those of us who had been to refugee camps, those of us who know these Syrians, those of us who have seen the horrible things that Assad has done, we have known this for some time."

Corker said he would like to have better relations with Russia, but "you have to deal with the realities of who they are, what they are doing to really undermine institutions of democracy around the world."

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Following this week's deadly chemical attacks in Syria, the Trump administration understands that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "a monster," who is supported by both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran, Sen. Bob Corker said Thursday.
bob corker, chemical, attacks, trump, bashar assad, monster
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2017-04-06
Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 01:04 PM
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