''I think what Assad did is terrible,'' U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters travelling with him on Air Force One en route to Florida, adding ''so something should happen.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday (April 6) that "something should happen" with Assad after the attack, but stopped short of saying he should leave office. "I think what Assad did is terrible," Trump told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One en route to Florida. "I think what happened in Syria is a disgrace to humanity and he's there, and I guess he's running things, so something should happen," Trump said. His accusations against Assad put him directly at odds with Moscow, the Syrian president's principal backer. The Pentagon and the White House are in detailed discussions on military options to respond to a poison gas attack in Syria that killed scores of civilians, and which Washington has blamed on the Syrian government, a U.S. official said on Thursday. Those options grounding aircraft used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity. Such options also include use of cruise missiles - which allow the United States to strike targets without putting piloted aircraft in the skies above Syria. The official did not comment on how likely military action might be or suggest which, if any, options might be recommended by the Pentagon. But the official added that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster had already been engaged in extensive talks on the matter. Mattis will presumably discuss the options when he meets with President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida, the official said. Mattis is due in Florida later on Thursday as part of a scheduled trip.