- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2020

President Trump said on Tuesday that he was inclined to support a mission to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar Assad in 2017 but that former Defense Secretary James Mattis was against it.

“I would have rather taken him out,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox & Friends.” “I had him all set. Mattis didn’t want to do it.”

“I don’t regret that — I could have lived either way with that,” the president said.

In his 2018 book, “Fear,” author Bob Woodward writes that Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Assad killed after a reported 2017 chemical weapons attack.

The president denied that in 2018, saying such a mission “was never even contemplated.”

Mr. Trump said he read Mr. Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” on Monday evening but that it was boring and inaccurate.

Mr. Woodward has released tapes from his interviews with the president for the new book in which the president talks openly about downplaying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Trump says he didn’t want to instill panic in the American people.

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