Potential or Not Syria Attack
How two news outlets portray their version of Pres. Trump's tweets about Syria this week.
What Fox says
Trump: Syria attack 'very soon or not so soon at all!'
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Thursday that an attack on Syria could take place "very soon or not so soon at all," arguing he had never signaled the timing of retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack that he had suggested was imminent a day earlier.
The president made his latest statement in a tweet Thursday morning. Trump on Wednesday had warned Russia to "get ready" for a missile attack on its ally Syria. But on Thursday, Trump tweeted: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place."
At a congressional hearing on the Pentagon's 2019 budget request, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declined to discuss military plans but said legislative leaders would be notified before any attack was undertaken. He said that because the U.S. had no one at the site of the suspected chemical attack last Saturday, the U.S. has no hard evidence of what happened. But he said he personally believes it was an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons.
Asked about the risks of U.S. military retaliation, Mattis cited two concerns, starting with avoiding civilian casualties.
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What Huff says
GOP Leaders Fine With Trump Bombing Syria Without Congress’ Sign-Off
WASHINGTON ― At a time when President Donald Trump tweets about potentially launching missile strikes against the Syrian government, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says the chief executive can do that without congressional approval.
“The existing AUMF gives him the authority he needs to do what he may or may not do,” Ryan said Thursday at a press conference.
He’s referring to the sweeping authorization for use of military force, or AUMF, that Congress passed in 2001. That measure, passed hastily in response to the 9/11 attacks, allowed then-President George W. Bush to attack anyone connected to al Qaeda, anywhere, at any time.
It never expired. For years, President Barack Obama stretched its legal limits by arguing it allowed him to go around Congress and take military action against the Islamic State, since the terror group is an offshoot of al Qaeda.
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