Russian Airstrikes in Syria ‘OK’ With Trump
Donald Trump spoke with CNN on Wednesday. He suggested that it was “OK” with him for Russia to bomb Syria.
“They don’t respect our president. They really don’t respect us anymore. And that’s why they’re doing this,” Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon in a wide-ranging interview at Trump Tower Wednesday. “At the same time, if they want to hit ISIS, that’s OK with me.”
According to Russia, their airstrikes are targeting ISIS and not Syria directly. U.S. officials didn’t buy the story and have suggested that the areas Russia is bombing are unlikely to contain ISIS installments.
“I hear they are hitting both,” said Trump, apparently referring to ISIS and non-ISIS Syrian opposition forces.
“If Russia wants to go in and if Russia want to fight — in particular ISIS, and they do and one of the reasons they do is because they don’t want ISIS coming into their country and that’s going to be the next step. So that’s why they’re there,” Trump said. “I think they will be fighting ISIS.”
Trump also criticized the United States for handing weapons over to regimes and Middle Eastern governments.
“We always give weapons, we give billions of dollars in weapons and then they turn them against us. We have no control. So we don’t know the other people that we’re supposed to be backing,” Trump said of U.S. involvement in the region. “We don’t even know who we are backing.”
The turmoil on the other side of the world has triggered a refugee crisis, with thousands fleeing violence in countries like Syria and Iraq.
Obama said the United States will accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the country next year — a number that some Democrats and humanitarian groups have said it much too low. The Obama administration recently said the total number will be increased to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017.
Many Republicans, including Trump, are critical of the decision to accept refugees from the region at all, arguing the process could be exploited by terrorists attempting to travel to the U.S. to do harm.
Trump on Wednesday went one step beyond that. He told CNN the U.S. shouldn’t accept people that “may be ISIS,” and vowed that as president, he would expel the refugees let in by the Obama administration.
“We have no idea who they are. We have no idea where they come from. And I’m just telling you right now, they may come in, through the weakness of Obama, but they’re going out if I become president,” Trump said. “They will not stay here. They are going back to Syria, whether it’s safe zones or whatever.”
In his first months as a presidential candidate, Trump has discussed foreign policy in largely sweeping terms. The campaign has yet to release anything formal on how Trump would handle national security issues or what kind of commander-in-chief he would strive to be.
Pressed repeatedly about his lack of foreign policy proposals, Trump said it’s important to be “unpredictable.”
“I don’t like talking so specific — I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that, like a fool,” he said. “I want to be unpredictable.”
Photo credit: Red State.