Eric Trump, President Donald Trump’s 33-year-old son, told The Daily Telegraph on Monday that his father’s cruise missile attack on Syria last week proves that the Trump administration will not be “pushed around” by Russia.
The US attack on a Syrian government airfield was launched in response to a chemical attack allegedly carried out by the Syrian government, which killed dozens of civilians, including children.
The US concluded yesterday that the Russian government, led by President Vladimir Putin, who is an ally of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was aware in advance that the chemical attack would take place.
“If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie,” Eric Trump said, referring to the US strike.
Both Moscow and Damascus have denied that Assad’s forces dropped the chemicals, claiming that the gas was released accidentally when a Syrian airstrike hit a “terrorist warehouse” containing “toxic substances.”
Eric Trump said his father will not be intimidated by Russian military escalation.
“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 said. “He is not a guy who gets intimidated. 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.”
Russia has doubled down on its support for Assad — condemning US “aggression” against what they view as Assad’s “legitimate” government — since the US targeted Shayrat airfield with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles last week.
Trump added that his father is “deeply committed” to expanding the US’s military capabilities and is a “big believer in Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of achieving peace through strength.”
Trump, who spoke with The Daily Telegraph during a visit to the Trump Turnberry golf resort in Ayrshire, Scotland, defended his father against accusations that he acted impulsively in response to the disturbing footage of the attack on civilians.
“I’m proud he took that action and believe me he thinks things through,” he said, adding that the president is “a great thinker, practical not impulsive.”
The US attack on Syria comes as investigations by the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees into Trump’s ties to Russia are reaching a boiling point in the media.
Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.
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