President Trump held off the White House's plan for new sanctions against Russian companies tied to Syria's alleged chemical weapons program Monday. America's top generals will brief Congress on Syria TuesdayThe president said he wanted U.S. troops out of Syria in six months. Now, there is no timetable and amid the precision of U.S. air strikes, confusion over strategy, reports CBS News' Major Garrett.
Speaking in Florida Monday, the president boasted about the Syria strikes. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said new sanctions on Russia would come Monday, but then Mr. Trump intervened and delayed the decision.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said more sanctions were merely under consideration. Despite rising tensions with Russia pver Syria, President Trump still wants a White House summit with. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake said the confusion made the U.S. look weak.
"We're going to have to get serious about sanctions on Russia," Sen. Flake said. "It's not a good sign if we're walking back statements made just a couple of days ago."
The White House said the missile strikes were designed to cripple Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, but a Pentagon analysis has concluded Syria can – and likely will – rebuild its chemical weapons stockpile. The missile strike did nothing to change the seven-year civil war. Lawmakers like South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham were left to wonder what was achieved.
"The military strike itself was a tactical response well short of what I thought was justified," Graham said Monday on "The Hugh Hewitt Show." "He's been a good commander-in-chief in general, but this is a major step backwards."
The White House is trying to persuade Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, to send troops to Syria. Egypt, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also on the list. It is unclear how many troops will be sent or how effective they will be and if their presence will risk conflict with Syria's top regional ally Iran