Fact Check

Did Donald Trump Tweet Warnings About Obama Ordering Syrian Airstrikes?

In 2013, Donald Trump issued multiple warnings to his predecessor about attacking Syria without congressional approval.

Published Apr 16, 2018

 (Gage Skidmore / FLICKR)
Image Via Gage Skidmore / FLICKR
Donald Trump leveled the same criticisms against President Barack Obama over Syrian strikes that were later used against him.

On the evening of 13 April 2018, the United States and European allies launched airstrikes against Syrian research, storage, and military targets as part of an operation intended by President Donald Trump to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus that reportedly killed more than 40 people.

Although President Trump and his supporters declared the airstrikes a success, others criticized the chief executive, charging him with not obtaining congressional approval before acting, with needlessly involving the United States in another no-win conflict, and with attempting to use military action in order to divert attention away from his multiple vexing political problems (such as the ongoing Russian collusion investigation, the Stormy Daniels payoff, and the release of former FBI director James Comey's memoir).

Shortly afterwards, a popular social media post suggested that several years earlier, Donald Trump had leveled warnings and speculative criticism at President Obama about those very same issues before the latter authorized airstrikes inside Syria:

Whatever the merit or validity of the criticisms, it is true that Donald Trump issued the tweets attributed to him above, preemptively warning his predecessor against attacking Syria without congressional approval and/or as a ploy to keep up his poll numbers:


O'Neill, Brendan.   "The West's Virtue — Bombing of Syria Is a Disastrous Mistake."     spiked.   16 April 2018.

Pace, Julie.   "Obama Orders Airstrikes in Syria for First Time."     Associated Press.   11 September 2014.

Cooper, Helene et al.   "U.S., Britain and France Strike Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack."     The New York Times.   13 April 2018.

Gstalter, Morgan.   "Dem Lawmaker Resurfaces 2013 Trump Tweet Criticizing Obama for Syrian Airstrikes."     The Hill.   13 April 2018.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.