Hours after Tuesday’s suspected chemical attack that left at least 72 people dead –many of whom were children– in the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun, Trump issued a brief statement on the “heinous” attack while placing blame on Obama and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“Today’s chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world. These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,” Trump said in the statement. “President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a ‘red line’ against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable attack.”
WATCH: The White House has blamed an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on the government of President Bashar al-Assad – and said weakness of the previous Obama administration allowed it to happen.
Though Trump blamed Obama for failing to resolve the situation in Syria, the president did, at one point in time, want the U.S. to “stay the hell out of Syria.”
“We should stay the hell out of Syria, the ‘rebels’ are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?ZERO,” Trump tweeted in June 2013.
In 2012, Obama set a “red line” warning of military action if Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in the civil war. But in 2013 he backed away from carrying out threatened air strikes once a deadly chemical weapons attack was confirmed.
Trump sent a series of tweets through the summer of 2013, urging the U.S. not to get involved in the civil war.
“What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval,” Trump tweeted in late August.
On Sept. 1, Trump appeared to praise Obama’s “weakness and indecision.”
“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!” he tweeted.
Trump also warned of the possible fallout if the U.S. was to get involved and hit the “wrong targets.”
The now-president warned Obama that there was “no upside” of getting involved.
“President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your ‘powder’ for another (and more important) day!” Trump tweeted.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the attack by the Assad government was “reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,” but declined to say what the Trump administration would do about it.
–with a file from the Associated Press