Trump warns of ‘smart’ strike against Russia amid domestic turmoil


WASHINGTON, April 11: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday virtually declared war on Russia over Syria on Twitter, warning Moscow that he would use new “smart” missiles if it targeted the US launch sites or American missiles attacking the Russia-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Trump appeared to be taunting Russia with American firepower he believes is superior. “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” he tweeted second thing in the morning after letting off steam against domestic “fake news” first thing in the morning.
The “Gas Killing Animal” appeared to be a reference to Assad, whose forces allegedly used chemical weapons against dissident civilian population in Syria.
Half an hour after the first Russia tweet, Trump said the US relationship with Russia “is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War.”
“There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?” he added in a more reasonable tone.
But the initial threat rattled markets and spooked critics who see him as a loose cannon who could unleash havoc on the world if he is cornered domestically.
The war talk came against the backdrop of relentless domestic crises in and around the White House that the US liberal media reports unremittingly, but which Trump dismisses as ”fake news.’
Amid renewed focus on his alleged one-night stand with a porn worker and an FBI search of his personal lawyer who purportedly paid her for silence on the matter, Trump lashed out at reports that the White House was in turmoil, while at the same time condemning the raid on his attorney Michael Cohen.
”So much Fake News about what is going on in the White House. Very calm and calculated with a big focus on open and fair trade with China, the coming North Korea meeting and, of course, the vicious gas attack in Syria. Feels great to have Bolton & Larry K on board,” Trump tweeted, referring to two new members of his team, National Security Adviser John Bolton and economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
”We are doing things that nobody thought possible, despite the never ending and corrupt Russia Investigation, which takes tremendous time and focus. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!” he added.
The FBI raid on his personal lawyer Michael Cohen is ostensibly aimed at pursuing why and how he paid $ 130,000 raised from a home equity line of credit to porn worker Stormy Daniels, and if the payoff violated campaign finance laws. Trump said yesterday that the raid undermined attorney-client privilege but many legal experts say such sanctity is conditional and if investigators believe the lawyer may be involved in criminal activity, they may seek, obtain, and execute a search warrant, as they did in this case.
Trump has raged against the raid, which was cleared by his own appointees, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who some reports could be in imminent danger of being fired under the Syria smokescreen.
While alarmists drummed up scenarios of Armageddon if Trump carried through with his threats to take on Russia in Syria, others speculated that ramping up the Syria crisis was aimed at distracting attention from the domestic turmoil. Still, others wondered about the consequence of forcing Trump to take a tough stand against Putin. (TNN)