As soon as the information broke, nevertheless, Trump did nothing to assist key stakeholders higher perceive the place he was coming from. Quite the opposite, Corker went to the White Home for a beforehand scheduled assembly, solely to have it cancelled whereas he was ready.
As an alternative, the president deployed a number of messengers to attempt to clarify his determination, together with Vice President Mike Pence, who had been beforehand scheduled to attend a lunch with senators to debate the right way to avert a looming authorities shutdown.
Within the wake of the Syria announcement, nevertheless, Pence got here to the lunch armed with White Home speaking factors on the choice, which he delivered. Senators who attended the lunch later stated it didn’t go properly.
“I felt badly for the vice chairman as a result of he had speaking factors and, I imply, um, you already know, there is not any means he may actually defend — he did what a loyal soldier would do, but it surely was not resonating,” Corker advised reporters.
Later within the afternoon, the White Home scheduled a briefing name for reporters on the Syria determination with a senior administration official.
However as a substitute of shedding gentle on Trump’s course of, or his rationale, the official, who was granted anonymity, stated solely that the choice had been Trump’s to make.
The official refused to touch upon what they referred to as “the deliberative course of” that led to the choice, however identified that Trump has lengthy expressed assist for ending U.S. engagement in Syria. “He has believed for a few years that we don’t have a army position to play in Syria,” stated the official. “I actually do not see how this can be a shock.”
When requested about Nationwide Safety Adviser John Bolton’s latest pledge that U.S. troops wouldn’t depart Syria “so long as Iranian troops are outdoors Iranian borders, ” the official struggled to provide you with a technique to clarify the obvious contradiction between Trump’s announcement and Bolton’s pledge.
“The problem right here is that the president has decided, in order that earlier statements, um, he will get to try this, in order that’s his prerogative,” the official stated.
And whereas the aide didn’t have any figures at hand on the variety of troops who’ve already come house, they did affirm that “the method has begun and the planning is underway.”