Trump on Assad: 'That's a butcher'

Audrey Hill
April 17, 2017

While neither Tillerson nor Lavrov cited concrete avenues of cooperation, beyond establishing a working group to address what Tillerson called "smaller issues", Lavrov agreed there were many problems.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated in the early months of Donald Trump's presidency.

Details of the meeting were not released.

Giving Tillerson a chilly reception, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was trying to understand the "real intentions" of the Trump administration.

The country's top two diplomats have admitted that there is little trust between them. Tillerson conceded the two world powers had "sharp differences" that have obstructed cooperation but voiced optimism that their talks could narrow those differences.

Trump, who last week ordered airstrikes on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack, was asked Wednesday if Syria could have launched the attack without Russia's knowledge.

Can Russia abandon Assad?

"Right now we're not getting along with Russian Federation at all", Trump said flatly during a White House news conference Wednesday.

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A fact-finding mission from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is investigating last week's attack in a rebel-held area of northern Syria.

He said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is considering the request.

The UN motion also would have forced the Syrian Assad government to cooperate in an global investigation into the incident.

"Our view is that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end, and they have again, brought this on themselves", Tillerson said. Syria's government has denied responsibilty and has claimed the chemicals were stored on the ground by rebels.

"So I am dismayed that Russian Federation has once again blocked the UN Security Council and in so doing refused to condemn the use of chemical weapons or support a full UN investigation into the attack". "That's exactly what is happening now..."

"So far we have not seen any facts". Trump said in a note on Twitter. "And I think it's very bad for Russian Federation", he said in and interview with Maria Bartiromo airing today on Fox Business Network.

Trump said during an interview on Fox Business Network this week that "Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person" in his relationship with Assad. "This is an animal".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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