President Donald Trump has told some members of Congress that he is considering military action in Syria in retaliation for this week’s chemical attack, and recognizes the seriousness of the situation, a source familiar with the calls tells CNN.
The source said the President had not firmly decided to go ahead with it but said he was discussing possible actions with Defense Secretary James Mattis. Trump is relying on the judgment of Mattis, according to the source.
US officials tell CNN the Pentagon has long-standing options to strike Syria’s chemical weapons capability and has presented those options to the administration. The sources stressed a decision has not been made.
Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement Thursday calling for military action, recommending an international coalition “to ground Assad’s air force.”
“We agree with the President that Assad has crossed a line with his latest use of chemical weapons. The message from the United States must be that this will not stand. We must show that no foreign power can or will protect Assad now. He must pay a punitive cost for this horrific attack,” they said.