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Thursday
Apr122018

'No final decision' on Syria after Trump meets with national security team: WH

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump met with his national security team Thursday to discuss Syria but no final decision has been made about a U.S. response to a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian regime, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

"No final decision has been made. We are continuing to asses [sic] intelligence and are engaged in conversations with our partners and allies," Sanders said.

The president plans to speak with French President Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May Thursday evening, Sanders added.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford were spotted at the White House Thursday afternoon.

Earlier Thursday, Trump said "further decisions" would be made "fairly soon."

“We're having a meeting today on Syria, we're having a number of meetings today," the president said during a morning meeting with governors and lawmakers. We'll see what happens."

“It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that," he said. "We've done a great job with ISIS. We have just absolutely decimated ISIS but now we have to make some further decisions so they'll be made fairly soon."

On Capitol Hill Thursday morning, Mattis said the National Security Council would be meeting and "take forward the various options to the president."

Earlier Thursday morning the president tweeted he "never said when an attack on Syria would take place," referring to possible U.S. action following the suspected chemical attack in Syria, apparently responding to criticism that he was telegraphing military action as he repeatedly has said he would never do.

"Could be very soon or not so soon at all!" Trump wrote.

The president's tweet comes four days after he said in a Cabinet meeting Monday that "major decisions" were coming on Syria within 24 to 48 hours.

Trump also appealed for praise in the fight against terrorism.

"In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS,” he said. “Where is our 'Thank you America?'"

The president had tweeted Tuesday about missiles "coming," seemingly in response to apparent comments from Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon, widely reported Wednesday morning, that warned Russia would fire on any U.S. missiles targeting Syria and the units launching them.

Trump tweeted that Russia made a “vow” to shoot down “any and all” U.S. missiles targeting Syria.

"Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!" he tweeted Tuesday.

But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in Wednesday's press briefing that there was no timetable for any punitive strike.

"We're maintaining that we have a number of options and all of those options are still on the table. Final decisions haven't been made yet on that front," Sanders said at the briefing, adding that the president has "not laid out a timetable."

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