President Donald Trump wants the world to know that the chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago is really amazing. He also wants you to know — incorrectly — that he bombed Iraq.
In a sit-down interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo that aired Wednesday morning, the president defended his progress in health care reform and revised his policy priorities but much of his talk focused on two geopolitical issues: the U.S. response to the Syrian government’s April 4 chemical attack on a rebel-held northern town and the U.S. Navy armada that’s on its way to the Korean Peninsula.
Trump says he told President Xi about US missile strikes in Syria over “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” pic.twitter.com/CTKtXBl9nI
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) April 12, 2017
“Our [military] technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five,” Trump said. “I mean, what we have in terms of technology — nobody can even come close to competing. Now we’re gonna start getting it because you know the military has been cut back and depleted so badly by the past administration and by the war in Iraq, which was another disaster. So what I said [to Xi] is ‘we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq.’”
“Headed to Syria,” Bartiromo corrected him.
“Yes,” he replied. “Heading toward Syria.”
Bartiromo also asked the president the reason for deploying an armada of U.S. Navy ships to the Korean Peninsula after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. at any sign of aggression.
“You never know, do you? You never know,” Trump replied. “I’m not like Obama where they talk about it ‘in four months we’re gonna hit Mosul’ and in the meantime [ISIS militants] get ready and like you never — so look Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now [U.S., Iraqi, Kurdish and Shi’ite militia forces have] been fighting it for many months and so many more people died.
Added Trump: “I don’t want to talk about it. We are sending an armada — very powerful. We have submarines — very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier; that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this. [North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un] is doing the wrong thing.”
But while the president had the opportunity to delve into important national issues, he appeared to give more detail about eating chocolate cake with the leader of China than he did to important domestic issues, like filling hundreds of vacancies in his administration.
“It’s been very much misreported that we failed with health care,” said Trump, referring to American Health Care Act legislation, which was withdrawn on March 24 because it lacked enough Republican support to pass. “We haven’t failed; we’re negotiating and we continue to negotiate.”
He also said health care reform must be accomplished before he can move forward with his proposals for tax reform and infrastructure development. This means that sweeping changes he promised to make early in his administration will instead be delayed as he tries to rescue his health care reform proposal from members of the House Freedom Caucus who have opposed his attempts to repeal Obama care.