MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump condemned chemical attacks in Syria that killed dozens, including children.
“A chemical attack that was so horrific in Syria against innocent people including women small children and even beautiful little babies. Their deaths was an affront to humanity. These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated,” said President Trump with Jordan’s King Abdullah II by his side.
“In Syria, we need a political solution that ends the conflict,” said King Abdullah. “It’s women and children that are paying the heaviest price… this threshold of inhumanity and savagery is something I know the president will not allow to happen.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies are to blame.
“Yesterday morning we awake to children foaming at the mouth, suffering convulsions, being carried in the arms of desperate parents,” Haley said.
Haley held up disturbing photos of some of the young victims of the attack in Syria.
“Assad has no incentive to stop using chemical weapons as long as Russia continues to protect this regime from consequences,” Haley said.
Sen. Marco Rubio did not mince words Tuesday. He is also placing blame on al-Assad for the gassing and pointed a finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Anyone who supports Bashar al-Assad in doing these sorts of things and tries to cover for him on the international stage and actually votes at international organisms to protect him from sanction, they are, at a minimum, accomplices in war crimes,” he said. “Which is why I reiterate my belief that Vladimir Putin is a war criminal who is assisting another war criminal in killing his own people and gassing innocents.”
The United States, Britain and France proposed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but Russia is against it.
Syria and Russia deny responsibility for the attack. Russia claims a strike hit a facility where rebels were making their own chemical weapons.
President Trump and King Abdullah also met to talk about fighting terrorism and contributing to solving the refugee crises in Jordan.
“We will destroy ISIS and we will protect civilization,” said Trump referring to what he spoke about with Jordan’s king.
“Terrorism has no borders, no nationality, no religion,” King Abdullah said. “The role of the U.S. is key to all of the issue we have around the world.”
Also on the table was peace in the Middle East.
“I am working hard to create peace between the Palestinians and Israel,” said President Trump.
Meantime, there’s word of a major shakeup in the White House. President Trump removed Chief Strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council.
There’s also the latest suggestion that former national security adviser Susan Rice revealed the names of Trump campaign associates for political purposes.
“The allegation is that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes. That’s absolutely false,” said Rice.
She denied she did anything wrong when – as national security advisor last year – she asked for the identities of Trump associates caught up in electronic surveillance of foreigners.
“Completely false,” said Rice.
Rice also categorically denied an unsubstantiated report that she ordered the creation of spreadsheets with the unmasked identities of Trump transition figures and distributed them among the intelligence community.
“I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would,” said Rice while on MSNBC.
Kentucky Republican Rand Paul said Rice should face very specific questions.
“She needs to be brought in and questioned… ask her whether President Obama ordered this or whether he knew about it,” said Paul.
The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee said no decision had been made on whether Rice will be asked to testify.
“If there is intelligence that leads her, she’ll be part of our review,” said Senator Richard Burr.
Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said it appeared Rice acted legally.
“The process that as described is perfectly normal and on its face does not in any way constitute a smoking gun,” said Hayden.
Questions about Rice’s actions and motives have for the moment overshadowed the three ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro told CNN Tuesday, evidence may lead to prison sentences for some in Trump’s orbit.
“I wouldn’t be surprised after all of this is said and done that some people end up in jail,” said Castro.
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