Syria’s deployment of chemical weapons against its own people, and the U.S. missile strikes targeting a Syrian military air base in response, proved that there is no connection between President Donald Trump and the Russian government, Trump’s son said in an interview published Tuesday.
“If there was anything that Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie,” Eric Trump told The Daily Telegraph during an interview at the family’s Trump Turnberry golf resort in Scotland. Russia, the most powerful ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, has condemned the U.S. missile strikes and been critical of the U.S. president for ordering them.
Eric Trump also said that he believed his sister Ivanka Trump, who serves as an adviser to her father in the White House, likely played a role in convincing the president to take action against Assad following last week’s chemical weapons attack, which left more than 70 people, including children, dead.
“Ivanka is a mother of three kids and she has influence. I’m sure she said ‘listen, this is horrible stuff.’ My father will act in times like that,” Eric Trump said.
The president’s son, who along with his brother Donald Trump Jr. has taken control of the family’s significant business empire, defended his father’s past position that the U.S. might be able to warm relations with Russia and said his father “won’t be pushed around” by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He added that the president’s about-face on the issue of Syria – Donald Trump was publicly against any intervention there following a similar chemical weapons attack during the administration of former President Barack Obama – came after seeing a nation’s leader use chemical weapons on his own people.
“If they disrespect us and if they cross us, fine. There will be no one harder – he has got more backbone than anybody. We’re no worse off than we were before. Maybe we’re finding that we can’t be,” Eric Trump said of Putin. “[The president] is not a guy who gets intimidated. I can tell you he is tough and he won’t be pushed around. The cards will shake out the way they do but he’s tough.”