White House sends mixed messages after Syria strike

Trump basked in a high point for his young presidency

(Credit: CNN)

(CNN) – President Trump celebrated his first major legislative win Monday with a Rose Garden event formally placing Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.

Trump said, “The most important thing that a President of the United States does is appoint people, hopefully great people like this appointment, to the United States Supreme Court. And I can say this is a great honor. And I got it done in the first 100 days. That’s even nice. You think that’s easy?”

Trump basked in a high point for his young presidency, and touted what may end of up being the most significant accomplishment of his first 100 days in office.

The president also enjoyed accolades on the foreign policy front, saying, “I ordered a targeted military strike.”

A new CBS News poll shows 57% of Americans approve of his decision to launch strikes against Syrian military targets, following a grisly chemical weapons attack against civilians by Syrian government forces.

But the most vexing question: what comes next?

On Monday, Trump’s White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that chemical weapons attacks are not the only kind that may spark a military response.

Spicer noted, “If you gas a baby, if you put a barrel bomb into innocent people, I think you will see a response from this president. That is unacceptable.”

Even as he insisted the president’s core mission has not wavered, saying, “The Trump doctrine is something that he articulated throughout the campaign which is that America is first. We’re gonna make sure that our national interests are protected.” The public is skittish about further action with seven in ten saying the president should get congressional approval before authorizing any more strikes.

Democrats are echoing that sentiment. Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware said, “President Trump needs to come to congress and work with us to get authorization for the use of military force. We need to hear a strategy.”

In the meantime, the White House is trying to tamp down reports of staff turmoil inside the West Wing, particularly the tensions between Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and the president’s son in law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

Press Secretary Spicer explained, “He understands that we have some pretty smart, talented individuals who are opinionated on a lot of subjects. But that our battles and our policy differences need to be behind closed doors.”

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