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Trump: US-Russia relationship 'will work out fine'

Trump: US-Russia relationship 'will work out fine'
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President Trump on Thursday sought to tone down the fierce dispute between the U.S. and Russia over a chemical weapons attack in Syria the U.S. has blamed on Syrian President Bashar Assad. 

“Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!” the president tweeted. 

Trump’s tweet comes after he signaled a more aggressive approach toward Moscow, Assad’s main ally, after the chemical attack — backing away from his campaign promise to forge better ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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During a press conference Wednesday, Trump refrained from criticizing Putin directly but declared that the U.S.-Russia relationship “may be at an all-time low” after a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airfield where the gas attack is believed to have originated. 

Trump also lauded China for abstaining from a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning what the U.S. and its allies said was Assad’s decision to use chemical weapons on his own citizens in the country's yearslong civil war. China often sides with Russia on Security Council votes.

The comments came on the same day the president reversed his position on labeling China a currency manipulator. 

But on Thursday, Trump sought to put on a tough face toward Beijing on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program. 

“I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.” he tweeted.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday he offered China better trade terms if they would confront Pyongyang over his nuclear ambitions. 

But he also said he came away from his meeting last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping with a different view of how much influence China has over its northeastern neighbor, especially after Xi explained the history of the two countries.

“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Trump said. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power over North Korea. … But it’s not what you would think.”