In an interview on ABC's 'This Week' with Martha Raddatz, Trump administration Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert questioned the "timing" of the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, but he called it "a quite serious problem" and said "all options" remain on the table.
Saturday night, a chemical weapons detonation in the Damascus suburb of Douma left at least 70 people dead. President Donald Trump warned of a "big price to pay" from his Twitter account Sunday morning.
He says the attack falling exactly one year after the U.S. bombed a Syrian airbase over another suspected use of chemical weapons in rebel-held territory "struck" him, but the era where the U.S. acted as world police is over.
"I think the president’s got a point that’s been very clear,' he said. "For too long and the United States of America has been taken advantage of in their responsibility to provide security for the entire world... putting their resources and their treasure and their boys and girls on the line... American troops aren’t going to fix the six or seven different ongoing conflicts and wars going on in the Middle East or in Syria at this stage."
MARTHA RADDATZ: And I want to lastly talk about Syria. We’ve seen those horrific images coming out of Syria this morning. And it looks like there was a chemical attack. I know you’re still looking into that. What do you think the president will do if it’s indeed a chemical attack? What do you think he should do?
THOMAS BOSSERT: Yes, it’s a quite serious problem. We’ve seen the photos of that attack. I think -- I mean, first, I would note the timing of this, it’s the first thing that struck me, this is the one year anniversary of our action the last time they made the mistake of using these weapons and pushing the rest of the world.
This isn’t just the United States, this is one of those issues on which every nation, all peoples have all agreed and have agreed since World War II, is an unacceptable practice. So looking at it...
RADDATZ: So is it possible they -- there will be another missile attack?
BOSSERT: I wouldn’t take anything off the table. These are horrible photos. We’re looking into the attack at this point. The State Department put out a statement last night and the president’s senior national security cabinet have been talking with him and with each other all throughout the evening and this morning, and myself included.
RADDATZ: Even though the president, this week, said, we’ll leave this to others, we should get out of there?
BOSSERT: Well, I think the president’s got a point that’s been very clear, and I’m going to reiterate that point. The pendulum has swung in the wrong direction for too long and the United States of America has been taken advantage of in their responsibility to provide security for the entire world.
It is time to move that pendulum back in a way that brings regional partners and others with equities in these matters all around the globe into putting their resources and their treasure and their boys and girls on the line, and not just American troops.
American troops aren’t going to fix the six or seven different ongoing conflicts and wars going on in the Middle East or in Syria at this stage. We need regional partnership increased and we need U.S. presence decreased.