Media figures and pundits celebrated President Donald Trump’s “swift, decisive” order to destroy a Syrian airbase in retaliation for what is believed to be a chemical warfare attack against Syrian rebels that killed dozens of people, including children. Pundits praised Trump’s “readiness to act on instinct” and declared that Trump “made Americans proud.”
President Trump Orders Overnight Missile Strike On Syrian Airbase
NBC News: “U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base Over Chemical Weapons Attack.” On April 6, President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airbase in retaliation for what is believed to be a chemical weapons attack against Syrian rebels that killed more than 100 people, including children. NBC reported that the strike “completed a policy reversal” for Trump, who previously urged America “to stay out of the conflict.” From the April 7 article:
The United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria overnight in response to what it believes was a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 100 people.
At least six people were killed, Syria claimed, but the Pentagon said civilians were not targeted and the strike was aimed at a military airfield in Homs.
All but one of the missiles hit their intended target, one U.S. military official told NBC News. The other missile failed.
The strike completed a policy reversal for President Donald Trump — who once warned America to stay out of the conflict — and drew angry responses from Damascus and its main ally, Russia. [NBCNews.com, 4/7/17]
Media Laud Trump For Ordering Missile Attack
The New York Times: Trump’s Strike “Was An Emotional Act By A Man Suddenly Aware That The World’s Problems Were Now His. The New York Times published an article that praised Trump’s “readiness to act on instinct” as “he upended a foreign policy doctrine based on putting America first and avoiding messy conflicts in distant lands.” Trump’s decision to order a missile strike, The Times wrote, “was an emotional act by a man suddenly aware that the world’s problems were now his.” From the April 7 article:
The images were heartbreaking: Children gasping and choking for breath, their mouths foaming. A grief-stricken father, cradling the lifeless bodies of his two children, swaddled in white blankets. But they were also familiar, a harrowing flashback to 2013, when the Syrian government unleashed the last major poison gas attack on its own people.
This time, though, a new American president was seeing the pictures and absorbing the horror.
Donald J. Trump has always taken pride in his readiness to act on instinct, whether in real estate or reality television. On Thursday, an emotional President Trump took the greatest risk of his young presidency, ordering a retaliatory missile strike on Syria for its latest chemical weapons attack. In a dizzying 48 hours, he upended a foreign policy doctrine based on putting America first and avoiding messy conflicts in distant lands.
Mr. Trump’s advisers framed his decision in the dry language of international norms and strategic deterrence. In truth, it was an emotional act by a man suddenly aware that the world’s problems were now his — and that turning away, to him, was not an option. [The New York Times, 4/7/17]
Fareed Zakaria On Syria Strikes: “I Think Donald Trump Became President Of The United States” Last Night.
MSNBC’s Kristen Welker: Trump Has “Turned The Page” On His “Rocky” Start With Response To Syria.While hosting a panel discussion on Trump’s missile strike on the Syrian airbase, MSNBC host Kristen Welker said that Trump effectively “turned the page on” what had previously been “a rocky couple of weeks.” From the April 7 edition of MSNBC’s MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson:
KRISTEN WELKER (GUEST HOST): This is a president who is coming off of a rocky couple of weeks. Arguably, he's turned the page on that to some extent with these foreign leader meetings that he's had this week and now with the focus on Syria. [MSNBC, MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson, 4/7/17]
The Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti: Trump “Detonated A Few Shibboleths Of His Predecessor’s Foreign Policy.” Washington Free Beacon Editor-in-Chief Matthew Continetti lauded Trump for destroying a Syrian airbase, and claimed that Trump’s “swift, decisive, and limited response ended more than a half decade of vacillation toward’s (sic) Assad's behavior.” From the April 7 column:
President Trump did more than retaliate for Bashar al-Assad's illegal and inhumane use of nerve agents against civilians when he ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles to destroy al-Shayrat airbase in Syria. He also detonated a few shibboleths of his predecessor's foreign policy.
Trump's swift, decisive, and limited response ended more than a half decade of vacillation toward’s (sic) Assad's behavior. Obama diplomacy failed, but hard power may yet deter Assad from using weapons banned for almost a century. [The Washington Free Beacon, 4/7/17]
The Weekly Standard’s Elliott Abrams: “The Trump Administration Can Truly Be Said To Have Started Only Now.” The Weekly Standard columnist Elliott Abrams wrote that though it “has had a rocky start,” the “Trump administration can truly be said to have started only now” because of this bombing. From the April 7 column:
The Trump administration has had a rocky start. There was the defeat on Obamacare, staffing the departments has been far too slow, the National Security Advisor lasted only three weeks, there has clearly been infighting in the White House staff, and there have certainly been too many tweets.
But that 75-day break-in period has just ended, and the Trump administration can truly be said to have started only now. The president has been chief executive since January 20, but this week he acted also as Commander in Chief. And more: He finally accepted the role of Leader of the Free World. [The Weekly Standard, 4/7/17]
Economist Chris Meekins: Trump’s Missile Strike Could “Unite The Country A Little Bit More.” FBR Capital Markets President Chris Meekins told Bloomberg News that Trump’s missile strike could help other policy initiatives such as infrastructure spending, tax reform, and health reform, and suggested that the strike could “maybe kind of unite the country a little bit more behind the president.” From the April 7 edition of Bloomberg’s Bloomberg News:
CHRIS MEEKINS: Thiscould be good for infrastructure spending, it could be good for tax reform, it could be good for health reform in the future. So, it can maybe kind of unite the country a little bit more behind the president because the most presidential thing a president can do is act as commander-in-chief. [Bloomberg, Bloomberg News, 4/7/17]
Former Defense Secretary William Cohen: “The American People Want Him To Act As He Did Last Night.” Former Defense Secretary William Cohen told CNBC that Trump’s strike “demonstrated that he was going to act, and he did act, as commander-in-chief.” Cohen said that “the American people want him to act as he did” when ordering the attack. From the April 7 edition of CNBC’s Squawk Box:
WILLIAM COHEN: He demonstrated that he was going to act, and he did act, as commander-in-chief last night. The problem that, at least I have seen, is the -- that President Trump is he's president but he hasn't been acting presidential by engaging in so much of the tweeting, and getting involved in side issues and accusations. I think the American people want him to act as he did last night. [CNBC, Squawk Box, 4/7/17]
Fox Frequent Guest Carl Higbie: “This Was Donald Trump’s First Test And He Absolutely Nailed It.” Frequent Fox News guest Carl Higbie told Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt that the Syrian response was “Donald Trump’s first test and he absolutely nailed it.” Higbie called the strike “a show of force that the world needs to see and the world now knows that we will do.” From the April 7 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): These missiles were launched from destroyers by our Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean ocean overnight. What are you hearing from your friends in the military? Were they proud of the president for this? Is this a victory?
CARL HIGBIE: Yes. Huge victory. All the people I have spoken to recently, active and former, have all said this was Donald Trump's first test and he absolutely nailed it. This is right on par. This is a show of force that the world needs to see and the world now knows that we will do. And everybody in the military that I have spoken to is extremely proud to call him our president this morning. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/7/17]
Columnist Mark Steyn: Trump’s Missile Launch Proved He Is “Very Nimble And He’s Able To Respond To Things.” Conservative columnist Mark Steyn told Fox News’ Pete Hegseth that Trump’s decision to strike the Syrian airbase proved that Trump “is very nimble” and “able to respond to things.” Steyn also swiped at President Barack Obama, claiming that Obama “mistook the sidelines for the moral high ground.” From the April 7 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
PETE HEGSETH (GUEST CO-HOST): What does this tell you about how President Trump is going to approach the world?
MARK STEYN: Well, I think it shows that he responds to things. He is very nimble and he’s able to respond to things. The disgusting aspect of the last eight years is that Obama mistook the sidelines for the moral high ground. So, he would use all this lofty rhetoric about red lines and he would stand there and there would be people killing each other, slaughtering each other, dead babies and he would stand there with his hand on his hip giving a speech. And he stripped words of their meaning. And Trump isn't as articulate. He isn't as polished but his words have meaning. And to do that while is he having dinner with the Chinese. You said did he tell him over the salad bowl. As I understand it, he told him over the creme brulee or the tiramisu. How cool is that to actually make the Chinese polit bureau sit through a night of American targeted bombing? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/7/17]
Fox’s Jeanine Pirro: Trump’s Missile Launch “Made Americans Proud … Made People All Around The World Proud.” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro claimed that Trump’s “swift, decisive action” ordering a missile strike on the Syrian airbase “made Americans proud” and “made people all around the world proud.” From the April 7 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
JEANINE PIRRO: For the first time in a long time, Americans were finally, you know, we have a president now who took swift and certain action. He chose to act, and we saw the juxtaposition of a withering, dithering, whimpering president who couldn't make a decision, who drew a line in the sand and did nothing about it. And by the way, had that real deal with Russia and Kerry putting -- I think that 2013 chemical weapons deal, they got rid of all their chemical weapons. Another success. And then Donald Trump comes in, and he took swift, decisive action and it made Americans proud. I think it made people all around the world proud. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/7/17]
Conservative Pundit Dana Loesch: Trump’s Order Demonstrates “A Level Of Decisiveness That We Have Not Seen in These Past Eight Years.” Conservative pundit Dana Loesch said on Fox News that “even some of the Trump's detractors” were shocked by “the swiftness” of the missile strike. Loesch said Trump’s quick decision to order the strike showed “a level of decisiveness that we have not seen in these past eight years” with Obama. From the April 7 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
DANA LOESCH: I think even some of the Trump's detractors were actually really surprised last night by the swiftness of this action. And I think it does show a level of decisiveness that we have not seen in these past eight years. It shows that Trump is willing to enforce Obama's red line. Remember Obama drew that red line in the sand and then nothing much came of that. And I think it is amazing optics that he’s down at Mar-a-Lago, and he was having dinner with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping and all of this was taking place and then he bid him good night, and this is everything that is happening the rest of the evening and this morning. So, it shows he can multitask. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 4/7/17]
Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter: “Like Him Or Loathe Him,” Trump “Made A Call And Did Not Dither.”