On Monday morning, Bassam Rifai, a political adviser to the American Syrian Council, appeared on the Fox News program Happening Now to urge President Donald Trump to climb in Syria after the deadly chemical reported attack with weapons.
"I would be surprised if I did not see any hits," Rifai said. "The president needs to take swift and decisive action at this time"
Then he turned to the camera.
"President Trump, I am speaking directly to you," he continued. "Do not make the same mistakes as President Obama … What we have to do now is eliminate Assad's air force."
When asked on Monday afternoon if he wanted to appear on Fox News on Monday, instead of CNN or MSNBC, to try to send a message to the president, a regular Fox observer, Rifai simply told The Daily Beast : "Yes, that is correct".
Although Trump had several meetings in Syria with senior government officials on Monday, Rifai was correct in assessing that what the president sees on Fox News can often influence his actions and rhetoric as much, if not more, that the advice of his main aides of the west wing.
And Rifai was not alone on the Fox Ondas. In fact, several personalities and guests at Fox & Friends – perhaps the most influential television show on the face of the planet at this time – have been Pressing Trump from Sunday morning to order another military attack against the Bashar al- The Assad regime as the Syria civil war remarkably brutal continues unabated.
On Sunday morning, less than half an hour before Trump condemned the attack on Twitter, Fox & Friends ran a segment on "TWELVE DEAD IN SYRIA". Fox News correspondent Gillian Turner finished the segment by saying: "All eyes now, boys, now you will be in President Trump to see what his response is … After a chemical attack last year, he ordered air strikes that decimated a Syrian air base, a movement that garnered praise from US allies around the world. "
Later that morning, after airing on Twitter about Hillary Clinton, the FBI and The Washington Post the president tweeted, "Many dead, including women and children, in a pointless chemical attack in Syria The area of atrocities is enclosed and surrounded by the Syrian army, making it completely inaccessible to the outside world, President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad … Great price … to pay. area immediately for medical help and verification, another humanitarian disaster for no reason at all SICK! "
President Trump added, striking his predecessor," If President Obama had crossed his red line declared in the sand , the Syrian disaster would have ended a long time ago! Animal Assad would have been history! "
But, of course, the carnage has continued. Assad pledged in 2013 to give up its arsenal of deadly chemical weapons, including tons of nerve agent sarin.
U.S. officials now believe that Assad's forces probably used sarin in their horrific assault on the Damascus suburb of Douma although those officials stress that they still have nothing that comes close to final proof. After the previous sarin attacks, EE. UU He was able to intercept calls between Syrian military officers about chemical attacks or obtain samples of the suspicious nerve agent.
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"Most of what we know is in the press, but what is in the press is quite condemning," said a US official. UU To The Daily Beast. "Most of those deaths" -with foamy mouths and pupils the size of punctures- "seem to have been induced by sarin."
And those attacks, which left dozens dead and hundreds wounded, seem to have been effective. Before the bombing, the Syrian army was negotiating with the rebel group Jayish al-Islam. After the bombing, the group's fighters in Douma almost gave up.
Some images of the aftermath appeared to show barrel bombs with industrial chemical chlorine. The US official UU He said it is possible that Assad's army used both chlorine and sarin in the attack.
"It would not be the first time," the official added. "They are hitting people in Douma with everything they have."
It was not so long ago that Trump took a softer approach towards Assad; During the presidential campaign, Trump said: "I do not like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS."
On Sunday, Fox & Friends welcomed lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a liberal law professor who has frequently struck President Trump's legal antagonists over the past year, who also told him viewers (perhaps a particular viewer) who, "well, I think the president has no other choice." He must respond. And I think he will respond. It will not make the tragic mistake committed by President Obama, for whom I voted, … The United States has to do something about it. We are the only game in the city. "
Numerous White House officials and sources close to Trump have told The Daily Beast that one of the most effective ways to force the president to do something is to tell him that he could be strong where Obama was weak, and can do so where his predecessor did nothing.
When a host asked if such an answer should include airstrikes or something similar, Dershowitz responded that last year's attacks on Assad air base in Shayrat in response to a previous attack was "the minimum of what [Trump] has to do." The majority of US actions against Assad must be done "in the name of humanity," Dershowitz said, a sentiment that mirrors what Trump said. I would say in the White House: day
"I think this president will stay strong … and I hope he can stop this guy [Assad]," said Dershowitz. "No one else has stopped him."
Sen Lindsey Graha m (R-SC), a former Trump adversary who has since become a friend of the president's golfer, appeared in the Monday edition of Fox & Friends to give his two cents and pass on his pro-interventionist message to Trump.
"I think he is now a legitimate war criminal in the eyes of the international community, and that Assad and his inner circle should be considered war criminals, legitimate military targets," the senator said. "If you have the opportunity to take it out, you should.You must ground your air force.You should destroy your air force."
Former Graham colleague, former Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), went through Fox & Friends to say: "I appreciate President Trump's outrage at the use of chemical weapons, and now I believe that we and our allies have to follow up and it should be strong, we should attack their armed forces. "
"I think everything should be on the table," said Lieberman, something President Trump agrees with.
Not everyone on Fox News was beating the war drums, like Tucker Carlson.
"Leaders on both sides of the Congress, in the media and in our intelligence services and virtually all overflowed think tanks in Washington have aligned tonight on a single point of agreement: the United States should go to the war in Syria immediately. " Tucker Carlson said at the top of his Fox News show on Monday night.
Expressing "skepticism," the presenter added: "All the geniuses tell us that Assad killed those children, but do they really know?" Of course, they do not really know it, they are inventing it. what happened ".
On Monday, the president told reporters that his administration would decide in the next "24 to 48 hours" how to respond to the Assad regime, adding that "nothing is off the table." . "
-with additional reports from Andrew Kirell