President Donald Trump on Tuesday confirmed a damning piece of journalist Bob Woodward’s reporting, roughly two years after he denied it.
During an interview with “Fox & Friends,” Trump confirmed a 2018 report from Woodward that the president ordered then-Defense Secretary James Mattis to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
“I would’ve rather taken [Assad] out,” Trump said. “I had him all set. Mattis didn’t want to do it. Mattis was a highly overrated general.”
According to Woodward, Trump in early 2017 ordered Mattis to “f*cking kill” Assad after he launched a chemical weapons attack against his own citizens.
Mattis, reported Woodward, told Trump he would do so — but then ordered staff to ignore the president’s orders after he left the room.
At the time, Trump issued a total denial of Woodward’s claims.
“No, that was never even contemplated, nor would it be contemplated,” Trump said in 2018, per CNN fact checker Daniel Dale.
Watch the video below.
"I would have rather taken him out" — Trump says he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad, but Mattis stopped him pic.twitter.com/pUcFTSW2w9
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 15, 2020