Similarly, after Trump entered office, his staff took President Barack Obama’s Syria contingency plans and broke the intelligence down into more-digestible bites, complete with photos, according to current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of the request.
This week, it was the images – gruesome photos of a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians – that moved Trump, pushing the president, who ran on an “America first” platform of nonintervention, to authorize the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syrian targets Thursday night.
Senior administration officials and members of Congress who spoke with Trump said the president was especially struck by two images: young, listless children being splashed with water in a frantic attempt to cleanse them of the nerve agent; and an anguished father holding his twin babies, swathed in soft white fabric, poisoned to death.
As the carnage unfolded on cable news, which the president watches throughout the day and deep into the night, Trump turned to his senior staff, talking about how “horrible” and “awful” the footage out of Syria was, said one top adviser.
“What the world saw last night was the United States commander in chief, and also a father and grandfather,” Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said Friday. “The world recoiled in…
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