Fox News host Shepard Smith’s attempt Thursday night to use President Donald Trump’s 2013 words as evidence against him ended up being shot down by a retired general who was a guest on Smith’s show.
Smith cited Trump’s 2013 tweets in which the president, then a private real estate developer, tweeted his opposition to intervention in Syria.
What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2013
Smith then contrasted those words with Trump’s decision Thursday to launch cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield in retribution for a chemical weapons attack on a Syrian village.
“There are certainly risks in this matter,” Smith said. “But there is nothing to say that the Syrians might, instead of not acting again, act again to draw the United States in.”
But Smith’s opposition to Trump was rejected by retired Gen. Jack Keane, a former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army.
“Something has happened since those utterings which you just mentioned. The fact is an election was held and on Jan. 20th, this person became president of the United States,” Keane said.
The retired general said becoming president is a transformational experience.
“He’s now president,” Keane said. “He’s no longer a guy like me sitting on the outside rendering opinions.”
“I think what you’re seeing here frankly is someone who feels a sense of accountability and responsibility as the president of the United States knowing he has the power to stop the horrendous act that’s taken place, to do something about it based on the moral underpinnings of this great country of ours and other God-fearing people in the world,” he said.
Keane, who had been offered the opportunity to serve as secretary of defense but urged Trump to pick James Mattis instead, praised Trump for taking action.
“He has the responsibility and he feels accountable to it and I think he’s made the right judgment here, to be quite frank about it,” Keane said. “We’ll see how it pans out.”
During a subsequent appearance on Hannity, Keane said Trump’s action was overdue by the U.S.
“This is an incredible message,” Keane told host Sean Hannity. “It should have been sent many years ago by the Obama administration.”
“He’s taken a very limited action, but it sends an incredibly strong message to our adversaries in the world, who are paying attention, believe me,” Keane said. “We have a decisive president who is going to act on behalf of U.S. national interests and the interests of our allies. That is an unequivocally, loud, clear message.”
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