President Trump reportedly cast a wide net in seeking advice on a military strike in Syria, including from the legal counsel defending him in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In the days since an evident chemical weapons attack on the country by the government forces of Syrian leader Bashar Assad last Saturday, Trump sought advice from a wide variety of sources on what the U.S. response should be, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The president announced Friday that he had authorized “precision strikes” against targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons production.
Trump called the apparent chemical attack this week a “significant escalation” of the ongoing civil conflict, and demanded swift action in response.
After Trump warned Russia of strikes by “smart” missiles that the U.S. could launch at Syria, top military officials including Defense Secretary James Mattis reportedly warned against actions that could broaden U.S. involvement. Trump apparently solicited advice beyond the military in his decision.
Trump’s legal team is currently in talks with members of the special counsel’s staff about a possible sit down interview between the president and special counsel Robert Mueller, who is seeking answers from Trump about his role in his 2016 campaign’s alleged dealings with Russia. Recent upheaval in Trump’s legal team means the interview might not happen.