Macron Says He Changed Trump's Mind on Syria

He says he persuaded president to limit airstrikes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2018 5:36 AM CDT
Updated Apr 16, 2018 6:35 AM CDT
Macron Says He Changed Trump's Mind on Syria
A Syrian soldier films the damage of the Syrian Scientific Research Center after airstrikes.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

President Trump is taking guidance on Syria policy from the president of France, Emmanuel Macron claimed in an interview Sunday. The French leader said he persuaded Trump to limit airstrikes on Syria on Friday to chemical weapons facilities after "things got a little carried away over tweets," the Guardian reports. France and Britain also took part in the airstrikes. Macron also told an interviewer that over several phone calls in the days before the strikes, he talked Trump into keeping American troops in Syria just 10 days after the president said he wanted to bring them home. "We convinced him it was necessary to stay," said Macron. "We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term."

Macron is believed to have a strong relationship with Trump and will be the guest of honor at the first formal White House state visit of Trump's presidency later this month, the BBC reports. But after his comments, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that there had been a change in American policy. "The US mission has not changed—the president has been clear that he wants US forces to come home as quickly as possible," she said. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Sunday that American troops are in Syria to crush ISIS, make sure Iran doesn't take over, and to prevent chemical weapons from being used in a way that harms US interests, and they will stay until those missions are accomplished, the AP reports. (She also announced new sanctions on Russia.)

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