The U.S. cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base, in retaliation for what the White House said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government, proved to be a rare moment of glory in Donald Trump’s embattled presidency. The president basked in praise from usually critical Democrats and news organizations.
Yet behind the scenes, U.S. military and intelligence officials doubted that the Syrians had used chemical weapons, according to investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.
Trump was “warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon,” Hersh writes on the German news site Die Welt.
"Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president's determination to ignore the evidence. 'None of this makes any sense,' one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. 'We KNOW that there was no chemical attack ... the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth ... I guess it didn't matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.'"