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12 Trump tweets about Syria that are very awkward right now

Almost one year to the day after he launched mostly symbolic airstrikes against Syria in response to a chemical attack against civilians, President Trump provided Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his most important ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a heads up about forthcoming missile strikes he’s planning to launch in retaliation for another chemical attack on Syrian civilians.

“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

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Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2018

Within the hour, Trump reversed course and was tweeting about his desire for improved relations with Russia. But his decision to give Assad and Putin a warning in the first place flies in the face of a talking point he’s used repeatedly since becoming president — that unlike Obama, he’s too smart to telegraph his military moves.

“One of the things I think you’ve noticed about me is: Militarily, I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing,” Trump said in April 2017. “I’m not saying I’m doing anything one way or the other.”

That same month, Trump told Fox News, “I don’t want to telegraph what I’m doing, or what I’m thinking. I’m not like other administrations, where they say we’re going to do this in four weeks and that. It doesn’t work that way.”

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CNN put together a video of Trump repeatedly bragging about how he’s too smart to telegraph his military strikes, unlike Obama pic.twitter.com/564gK78XwO

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 11, 2018

Trump’s warning also represents a flip-flop from tweets he posted in August and September of 2013, back when he was a businessman who was trying to buddy up to Putin ahead of the Miss Universe pageant that took place in Moscow in November of that year.

Trump repeatedly attacked President Obama for signaling that he was considering military action against the Assad regime.

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Why do we keep broadcasting when we are going to attack Syria. Why can’t we just be quiet and, if we attack at all, catch them by surprise?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013

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The great GENERALS MacArthur and Patton, real leaders and fighters, are spinning in their graves as we give Syria info & time to prepare.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2013

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For all of those fools that want to attack Syria, the U.S.has lost the vital element of surprise-so stupid-could be a disaster!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2013

Not only did Trump think Obama was blowing it by telegraphing his military moves, but he was also very opposed to the idea of striking Syria in the first place.

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AGAIN, TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA – IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013

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We should stop talking, stay out of Syria and other countries that hate us, rebuild our own country and make it strong and great again-USA!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2013

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What I am saying is stay out of Syria.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2013

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Don’t attack Syria – an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2013

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If the U.S. attacks Syria and hits the wrong targets, killing civilians, there will be worldwide hell to pay. Stay away and fix broken U.S.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2013

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President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your “powder” for another (and more important) day!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2013

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President Obama‘s weakness and indecision may have saved us from doing a horrible and very costly (in more ways than money) attack on Syria!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2013

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@walaa_3ssaf No, dopey, I would not go into Syria, but if I did it would be by surprise and not blurted all over the media like fools.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013

At one point, Trump framed his opposition to military intervention in Syria around concerns that it could lead to a proxy war with Russia, and hence the outbreak of a worldwide conflict — a risk that is still very much in play today.

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Russia is sending a fleet of ships to the Mediterranean. Obama’s war in Syria has the potential to widen into a worldwide conflict.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013

Trump also claimed that the Bush administration officials who led us into a disastrous war in Iraq shouldn’t be at the table when decisions about using military force are made.

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All former Bush administration officials should have zero standing on Syria. Iraq was a waste of blood & treasure.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2013

Fast forward four years, and President Trump is weighing military strikes against Assad while receiving input from new National Security Adviser John Bolton — one of the Bush-era officials responsible for the “waste of blood and treasure” in Iraq.


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