- The Washington Times - Friday, April 28, 2017

President Trump has abandoned campaign trail promises and other pre-inaugural pledges in lieu of letting special interests shape his administration’s foreign policy agenda, Syrian President Bashar Assad said this week.

“As we have seen in the past few weeks, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime,” Mr. Assad said of his American counterpart in an interview released Thursday by teleSUR.

Mr. Trump “has no policies” and has instead sought guidance from “the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms manufacturers, oil companies, and financial institutions,” the Syrian leader said.

“That’s why it is unrealistic and a complete waste of time to make an assessment of the American president’s foreign policy, for he might say something, but he ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him,” Mr. Assadsaid. “This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades.”

Despite vowing to pursue a non-interventionalist agenda if elected president, Mr. Trump authorized the U.S. military to strike a Syrian airbase this month after American officials determined it was used by the Assad regime to launch a recent chemical weapons attack.

Weeks before being elected, Mr. Trump said: “We cannot be the policeman of the world, we cannot protect countries all over the world, where they’re not paying us what we need.” He called Mr. Assad “a butcher” after this month’s chemical weapons attack, however, and authorized the Pentagon to fire 59 missiles at an airfield operated by the Syrian government.

Mr. Assad has denied responsibility, however, and has describe the chemical weapons attack as “fabricated” and “unconvincing,” contrary to evidence indicting it claimed dozens of victims, including women and children.

“This is what characterizes American politicians: they lie on a daily basis,” Mr. Assad told teleSUR this week. “That’s why we shouldn’t believe what the Pentagon or any other American institution says because they say things which serve their policies, not things which reflect reality and the facts on the ground.”

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