US President Donald Trump wanted to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assassinated last year after the Syrian government reportedly carried out a chemical attack in April 2017. A shocking revelation in a book by renowned journalist Bob Woodward revealed the details about the incident.
According to Bob Woodward’s book titled Fear: Trump in the White House, Trump wanted the US military to go into Syria and assassinate al-Assad. “Let’s f*****g kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the f*****g lot of them," Trump said according to Woodward's book.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis said the Pentagon would "get right on it" after Trump made his request, according to Woodward, but after getting off the phone with Trump, Mattis made it clear to his staff that they were not going to follow through with Trump's plan.
The attack, which was widely blamed on forces loyal to the Syrian government, was carried out on the town of Khan Sheikhoun, killing more than 80 people. In the wake of the chemical attack in April 2017, the president’s national security team developed options that included the more conventional airstrike that Mr Trump eventually ordered.
In an official response to the allegations, Mattis called the quotes used in Woodward's book "fiction" and "a product of someone's rich imagination," adding that the publication was "a uniquely Washington brand of literature".
"In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination," Mattis' statement said.
Trump took to Twitter and called the quotes in book "made up by frauds, a con on the public".