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U.S. airstrike on Syria: The timeline, according to Sean Spicer

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer laid out the timeline for the decision by President Trump to launch airstrikes against Syria. 

Strikes 'justified' says Haley 05:28

The strike “was very decisive, justified, and proportional to the actions that he felt needed [to be] taken,” Spicer told reporters in Palm Beach, Florida, Friday. Including the Presidential Daily Briefing Tuesday morning, when he was informed of the chemical attack in northern Syria, Mr. Trump was personally involved in five meetings on the subject, Spicer said. 

Mr. Trump said Thursday night that he authorized the airstrike because “it is in the vital, national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the use of deadly chemical weapons.”   

On Friday, Spicer presented a timeline of the events -- here it is, in his own words, with brackets added only when necessary for clarity.

Tuesday Apr. 4

10:30 a.m.

The president was informed during the course of his Presidential Daily Briefing on Syria. He at that time asked the team for additional information and updates. The interagency teams spent the day developing an initial range of options of the president.

8:00 p.m

There was a restricted deputy committee meeting on the situation. Preliminary options were presented and refined.

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[Also that night] there was a deputies meeting at the White House, where options were presented and refined, and interagency guidance was developed.

Wednesday Apr. 5

Wednesday morning, a restricted Principals meeting was conducted, where interagency options [provided] further guidance…..  

3:00 p.m.

A national security meeting was convened where the president was briefed on options. He reviewed the options’ detail, asked a series of questions to his team, requested further information, and the decision to reconvene Thursday was made.

Thursday, Apr. 6

1:30 p.m.

En route to Florida [for a two-day meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping], the president convened the national security team - that was aboard Air Force One [with] others, via secure video conference on Air Force One.  

4:00 p.m.

The president, the secretary of State, the secretary of Defense, national security adviser, and other members of the national security team met in a secure room down here [in Mar-a-Lago], where they were piped in with the rest of the team, via secure video teleconference

The president gave the okay to move ahead.

7:40 p.m.

Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles were launched from Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean. All 59 hit their target. 

8:30 p.m.

Notification of foreign leaders and congressional leadership began. The vice president called several congressional leaders and began calling some foreign leaders. The secretary of State, the secretary of Defense, national security adviser and others were also involved in making those phone calls to...heads of government, defense ministers and congressional leaders.

Between 8:30 - 8:40 p.m.

The first impacts began on the ground. The president informed President Xi that strikes were occurring as their dinner concluded. All along, the national security team continues to monitor the event, the situations.

After dinner, the president went back down to the secure room, where he was briefed by the secretary of State, secretary of Defense, chairman of the Joint Chiefs -- and others were present via a secure video teleconference….In the situation room, the secretary of Defense was on a secure-line video teleconference as well as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Several other members were convened in the situation room in Washington, D.C. The president was updated on the effectiveness - was informed the battle damage assessment would take a few hours, but [was told] the initial results were extremely positive. He asked about reaction from foreign leaders as well as congressional leaders and was informed that there was fairly unanimous praise for the decision and the action the president took.

-- Compiled by CBS News’ Katiana Krawchenko and Arden Farhi.  

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