Maxine Waters: 'Bombing another country doesn’t make you presidential’

Maxine Waters: 'Bombing another country doesn’t make you presidential’
© Greg Nash

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said Monday that a recent U.S. missile strike in Syria does not make President Trump more presidential, jabbing Trump for his February address to Congress in the process. 

Waters, one of Congress's most outspoken Trump critics, added that Trump can't take further action against Syrian President Bashar Assad without congressional approval.

The U.S. conducted a missiles strike in Syria last week amid reports of a chemical attack there.

Warships fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an airfield near the Syrian city of Homs on April 7, attempting to damage the air base that purportedly launched the gas attack.

Trump delivered his justification for the strikes to Congress last Saturday, adding that the U.S. is prepared for further military action there if necessary. 

“I acted in the vital national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive,” he wrote.

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“The United States will take additional action, as necessary and appropriate, to further its important national interests,” Trump added in the message to Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanEx-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Trump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud MORE (R-Wis.) and Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah), the Senate president pro tempore.

The missile strike last week marked the first direct U.S. assault against Assad’s government, as well as the most significant military action of Trump’s presidency so far.

U.S. lawmakers generally voiced support for the move, though many called for Trump to seek congressional approval before conducting other operations in Syria. 

Trump’s decision angered Russia, a longtime backer of Assad’s government and one of its fiercest military backers throughout its ongoing civil war, although Russia was reportedly warned about the strike before it occurred.

Waters said Monday that Trump’s actions in Syria are at odds with the president’s past praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.