be higher. the president has gone from initially not talking about the chemical attack to now bombing the brutal dictator's regime. we have the global resources of cnn covering this story. we begin with jim sciutto. what's the latest. >> they're saying that 58 of those 59 cruise missiles hit their targets, did damage or significant damage to their targets there. this was a major attack. dozens of cruise missiles but also a very focussed attack on a very narrow target. that target being this one syrian air base, the one base the u.s. believes was used to launch these chemical weapons attack earlier in the week. we are seeing pictures from the ground now. it hit hardened air shelters there. it hit the taxi way. it hit ammo and fuel depots
there. but it is just as crucial as what was hit as what was not hit. the runway itself was not hit. chemical weapons depots were not hit. the pentagon did not want to cause these chemical weapons to be dispersed. also crucial to say that russian forces were not hit. that very intentional. we know the u.s. was in touch with russian military commanders on the ground yesterday to let them know this was coming. we know people on the ground witnessed some russian forces moving out of the area before this attack. the u.s. did not want to pick a fight with russia here, but it did target russian's client state there, which is syria and assad. one final note, one consequence of this, and this is a significant consequence, that russia says it is suspending what's known as a decon flix agreement with the u.s. there. this is keeping lines of communication open so u.s. military assets do not come into
contact with russian military aircrafts. they are suspending it and it is potentially risky to get u.s. airplanes in close proximity to russian airplanes. >> jim, stick with us. you have two main angles of analysis here. was this the right move for the president? did he have the right to make this move legally? on the political side, the administration has made a huge pivot. they have gone have saying assad's future is up to the syrian people, that intervention is a bad move for the united states, they went from that and in 24 hours a missile strike. live in palm beach, florida, where the president is now in the midst of what was supposed to be the big international test, his meeting with the president of china. >> reporter: chris, that's right. this action distracts from that
summit. this first district u.s. military action against the regime was meant to send a message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. as you said, it represents a major turn around for this president in his approach to assad specifically and to the syrian conflict more broadly. back in 2013 after a similar chemical weapons attack, trump then argued strenuously against military intervention in syria and earlier this week he was slow to respond initially to this later chemical weapons attack. he has responded now in word and deed. here is some of what he had to say about this last night. >> using a deadly nerve agent, assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. it was a slow and brutal death for so many. even beautiful babies were
cruelly murdered in this barbaric attack. no child of god should ever suffer such horror. >> the president went on to say that this targeted military strike that he ordered was in the vital national security interest of the united states. one of the big questions now is what this will mean for u.s./russia relations. we heard strong words from secretary of state rex tillerson last night saying that russia, which had been responsible for removing syrian chemical weapons, either russia was come police it or incompetent in its ability to deliver. back to you. >> thank you very much. joining us now is senator marco rubio of florida. senator, good morning. what is your position on what happened last night? >> it was the right move. first of all, it was legal. it was in furtherance of both enforcing an agreement that the
united states and russia were a party to for the removal of chemical weapons. it was a further rants of the treaty they signed and in furtherance of international law that says you cannot use chemical weapons. it was all to our international interest. there are hundreds of american troops now in the region and syria who could be threatened by sarin gas. and, so, it was important. it was proportional and it was targeted. but it was not just symbolic. he specifically targeted and significantly degraded a key military installation which has been united statesed in the past and i believe would have been used in the future for chemical attacks. >> does he need to go to congress? >> it depends on the circumstances. if it is response to an immediate threat to our national interest, i don't think the president needs to come before congress. he is the commander in chief and
has the right to pursue that. aagree with that. if he wants to engage in a broader conflict, then i certainly think he should come to congress and it would behoove him to do that because congress has to pay for it. but as of last night, what he did was the right thing. >> where are we right now? what do you think happens next? >> what is interesting here is i do believe there is a national security council that has been working on a strategic plan for syria. obviously, you can't control these crisises. i hope there is a growing realization that as long as assad is in syria and in control, not only will he continue to commit crimes, there will be radical groups in syria as long as assad is in power. even if you destroy isis, they are being replaced. so the removal of assad in
furtherance of our other goal, which is to defeat and not allow these radical jihadist groups to be remoremoved. >> if the president comes to congress and says he's on board with that plan, does the president have the authority? >> it depends on what plan is in place. i don't believe that will be accomplished solely through a military component. i think we have allies in the region that have an interest as well. that includes turkey, jordan yans. but you have to be able to show that there is a capable group of sun sunis, not just capable on the battlefield but also capable of gov rans in the a way that protects the rights. that's the one area i hope we'll continue to invest in because i think that's a critical component of a long-term solution. >> i guess my point is this, the
u.s. and the world community has been watching assad's atrocities for seven years and there hasn't seemed to be the appetite in congress here to really stop him or do much and i'm wondering if you think something shifted? has something changed where congress has a different stomach for this? >> i talked about that 48 hours ago. i said we've grown desensitized. i worry we have grown desensitized. hopefully that has changed. in 2011, when this all began, i was clear i thought we had to empower john jihadist sunis on the ground and if we didn't, that space would be filled by foreign fighters. that's what happened. so our options are more difficult now than they were five, six, seven years ago. it's more difficult. this is not an easy thing, but it is a necessary thing because as long as assad is in power, as long as instability is in syria, you will have a radical jihadist
group to fill that void. >> you said something earlier this week that got some attention. you basically suggested, correct me if i'm wrong, that the rhetoric of secretary of state tillerson as well as ambassador nikki haley where they both said getting rid of assad was not a top priority and you suggested that gave assad perhaps cover or impunity to then launch that chemical attack on his own people. the timing of that statement and what he did was connected. and now we see, you know, just two days later this attack on assad's air base. do you draw a straight line between those first comments to tillerson and haley to where we are today. >> like anybody else, assad sits there and says, here is the price for doing this. here is the benefit for doing this. i think for far too long he has said to himself the price of these attacks, whether it was
bombing innocence or using sarin gas is i will get a nasty letter from the un. but the benefits are i get to defeat my opponents. hopefully that cost/benefit analysis will have shifted a little bit from last night. >> you have focussed on syria and assad for a long time. what do you think his next move is? >> whose, assad? >> assad. >> he is fighting for survival. he knows if he is removed from power, he is going to be before the hay for war crimes. the russians care about having a presence. it is the largest military presence outside of russia. he has bell la cares about having a supply line. everybody has a different interest in there. our interest is to make sure it is not an ungoverned space.
that's our interest. that is our deep national security interest. what assad is going to do next, i'm not sure other than continue to murder people if he could get away with it. hopefully what he's doing next is he's deeply worried about losing power and being ousted and having to stand trial for war crimes. >> do you believe there is an international coalition that would help the u.s. get rid of assad? >> we're about to find out. but i could tell you it will not happen without strong american leadership. we can't solve all the world's problems, but there are very few problems in the world that can be solved without america. if america is willing to lead with a combination of military and a diplomatic solution to this problem, i believe our allies of course in europe. >> senator, what do you think this does for u.s./russian relations. do you think starting today we will hear different rhetorics
than we've heard coming out of the state department and the white house? >> i don't know. we'll see. i think clearly the russians are complicit in these war crimes. if they were at that facilitfac they had to have known there was sarin gas loaded on to those planes. they cover for him in international forums. we need to stop worrying so much about what russia is going to think or about what russia is going to do. they should be worried about us. >> senator, you ran for president. obviously, if you were president today, what would you do today? >> i agree with the decision the president made tonight. i am not the president, so i did not have all the strike packages proposed to him. obviously i would have made different decisions if i was president when president obama was president, but i'm not the president and i don't suppose to put myself in that position because he's not more information about this than i do. i support what he did last night and i do believe the president must now focus on a strategy
that accomplishes the dual goals of removing assad and in the process also defeating isis and al-qaeda and any other radical element in syria. >> thank you. we appreciate it. >> and of course how assad reacts and how russia reacts is very important coming out of this missile strike. from russia we now hear that they are planning to bolster air defenses in syria and they say the risk of a collision with the u.s. in the sky could not be higher. president vladimir putin calling the strikes trumped up, an apparent insunliglt of trump. it would be the first by putin. let's go to matthew for more. >> reporter: senator rubio said they worried about what the reactions of the russians would
be. that's certainly true and they're moving quickly to take measures to alleviate their concerns cht for instance, they vowed they are now going to bolster the air defenses of the army to make sure that the syrian infrastructure, the syrian military is better protected. they're also moving one of their own sophisticated missile ships off of the coast of syria to provide further striking capability and of course they have announced they have suspended the all-important air safety agreement. the deep con flix agreement that has existed for the past couple of years between the united states military and the russian military to try and make sure that the aircraft in the skies over syria from both of those countries carrying our air strikes do not come into unwanted contact with each other. that makes the whole process of carrying out air strikes in syria for the united states a whole lot more difficult right now. >> thank you very much for that
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who think $100k is just pocket change. right now we're just talking to you. i told you we had a fortune. yes, you did. getting closer to your investment goals starts with a conversation. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today. president trump just authorized the launching of 59 missiles of an air base in syria. the president says it is
retaliation that it was done in defense of the united states and he is receiving political support. but did he have the legal authority? supposedly wasn't there for the same action by president obama in 2013. what changed? is there a line anywhemore that president cannot cross when using lethal force across the world. these are heavy questions. they matter a lot. one of the men that took an oath to answer one of those questions joins us now. senator tim kaine of virginia, a membered of the armed services and foreign relations committees. senator, good to have you. >> thanks, chris. >> i want to play for you what senator rubio just said on new day about why it was legal, not just the right thing to do. listen. >> it was the right move. first of all, it was legal. it was in furtherance of both enforcing an agreement that the united states and russia were a party to. it was in furtherance of the
treaty they signed. it was in furtherance of international law that says you cannot use chemical weapons against anyone, not to mention innocent civilians. >> now, those may be compelling political arguments but do you think they are compelling legal arguments? what empowered the united states to take military action against syria? what international law allows the un to strike out? >> chris, there is no legal justification for this. i think from a moral standpoint absolutely i agree with senator rubio. it was the right thing to do. it is the right thing to do to try to deter assad from war crimes. remember, i voted to use military action against syria in august of 2013. senator rubio voted against it back then when assad did exactly the same thing. but i said the president has to come to congress. and dom j. trump, citizen trump
at that time said exactly the same thing. a president has to go to congress. so president trump doing thrks finally waking up to the atrocities in syria is a good thing. he should not have done this without coming to congress. i'm the democratic lead on the committee over the middle east. i was not consulted. i heard about this on the news. the president needs to come to congress and it's on his shoulders now to bring us whatever his plan s. he's obviously had a huge change of heart about syria. no longer an apologist for assad, wants to take action. he's got to lay the plan out on the table so congress can debate it. >> isn't it true that the president was able to do this because you guys let him? you ducked your constitutional authority to declare war? ben carden was just on saying he did the right thing. i got contacted. that's not how it is supposed to work. >> he took this action without talking to people.
>> other members of congress knew. they could have stood up and tried to block it. they didn't. >> you can't say i talked to three or four members of congress and then i launched a war unilaterally. >> why wasn't congress trying to stop it before it happened? >> he did this unannounced, chris. the constitution is very clear. whatever you think of congress, the constitution is clear. congress declares war. if you let a president just do it yunilaterally whenever he wakes up and thinks it is a good idea, you are going to have chaos. and the reason you do a war declaration is three-fold. first, it is what the constitution requires. second, we shouldn't put our troops in harm's way without a political consensus the mission is worth it. when you have a debate in congress over a war, you bring the american public in so they feel the stakes and feel invested in it as well. that's what president trump should have done. he told president obama to do it in 2013.
as soon as he has the opportunity, he blows by the constitutional requirement. he's got to come up to congress and put a plan on the table so we could see where this is going. >> i hear you on this, and i know that you have been an advocate to debate the authorization for use of military force anew. you have pointed out that it doesn't make sense anymore. but you have to own that the house and the senate have wilted on this issue time and again since reagan, bush, clinton. and you have allowed them to abuse it. >> chris, let me say to you, so what? does the constitution matter? does it matter? it says that congress needs to declare war. and that's what donald trump said when he was a citizen. when president obama wanted to use military action against syria, he knew he couldn't do it on his own, to wage war against a sovereign nation, so he came to congress. president trump has to do the same thing. since the trump administration started, look at what's happened.
first american ground operations in yemen. first against isil in syria. now war strikes against the syrian government. all these things are happening without a congressional debate. it is time for us to get in the game. i share your frustration. >> no, no, i don't have frustration about it. it's not a subjective judgment. i know where you have been on it. i know you did. i know you are. i get it. but what i'm asking you to do is own the collective for a moment because you know that that 2001 aumf doesn't even come close to supporting actions that have been taken by multiple presidents now over the years. >> i completely agreed with you. >> but they allowed. congress sharked their duty under this. you can't expect a president to turn down power. they are not going to say you. >> did he take an oath to uphold the constitution? >> so did you guys.
>> and we are. i have introduced an authorization with respect to the war against isil, and i have voted to use military action against syria for using chemical weapons against civilians, but as of now there is no congressional authorization that covers this, and that means we've got to bring it and have the debate. i was hard on my colleagues as i am on both the obama and trump administrations. but he took an oath to the constitution, as did we, and he needs to follow it. >> but there is a pattern of allowing it. i'll agree with you. what rubio was saying, i don't know that those are compelling legal arguments. but it never matters because you guys won't debate it. we just had ben carden on. we haven't heard from harry reid. they never spoke up about this. >> when you say it doesn't matter, i know you are kind of blasting congress. it matters. there is 1.6 million families like mine who have a kid in the military. it matters.
you can't put people into harm's way without a political consensus. >> i agree objectively. >> and even if we are acting like it doesn't matter, it matters. >> why don't you convene a debate on it? we have discussed this before. there have been opportunities to do it and it hasn't been done. >> it has been done on numerous occasions. i introduced an authorization that got a vote in the foreign relations committee in december of 2014. the republicans would not support it. they said wait until we take over the majority. we want to take it up when we have the majority. the next month started. we introduced an authorization. president obama brought an authorization to congress. >> that's my point. it keeps not happening. but constitutionally there is supposed to be a debate. if it does happen now, would you authorize what the president has just started in syria? >> i can certainly see voting yes, just as i did in 2013. but i want to understand what the president's plan is because i think it's really important.
the difference between now and 2013 is there is a lot of differences. one there is american troops on the ground there. two, russia is there and they weren't in 2013. the turks and the curds are engaging in significant challenges on the battlefield. i'll tell you what i think we should do, i think we should still establish a human tarn zone in northern syria to enforce the security council resolution that senator rubio was talking about and we should do it as a human tarn zone and protect it with military assets if anybody tries to mess up the misen. i think that's what we should doch do. i am heartened the administration is taking this seriously. let's get this right. it is the start of a new administration. with a new administration, we got ant opportunity to get this right. and that's why my colleagues and i are trying to restart the discussion. but the discussion we're having is about isis.
that would not cover action against the sovereign nation of syria. there is going to have to be a separate discussion about that. >> logically that would make sense. but can you at least acknowledge that you, mccain, a handful of others are an exception, not the rule. that since that vote for the war in iraq that so many have had to pay a price for, in general, congress has shirked its constitutional duty to own declarations of war, and you have seeded power to presidents who are only too happy to take it, which is understandable. >> chris, i will agree with you now. i'm with you. this has been primarily an an doe case of responsibility by congress. but just because congress has an doe kated in the past doesn't mean the president could start a new war. the constitutional command is clear. he should be putting on authorization on the table before congress and we will see now with a new president and two
republican congresses, will they continue or not. the constitution we all pledge an oath to is very, very plain that except for defending the nation against imminent attack, you can't start a war without an act of congress. >> you're laying out all the right points and we will be watching very carefully what happens next. senator stank y senator, thank you. >> we will have more of u.s. strikes in syria when new day returns. needles.
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global markets are closely watching the u.s. strikes in syria and a new jobs report is just out. chief business correspondent joins us now at the money center with more. >> let's first look at what i think is a predictable reaction to what happened overnight. at one point oil was up 2% in the very moment after the 59 missiles were launched. up 2%. that is not a surprise because rushing to the safety of commodities like oil and also
any kind of inking of a geopolitical risk in that region always drives people into oil. gold also up about 1% here. worries about instability in the region. and you also saw people rushing into the safety of u.s. government bonds. when i look at stocks, i don't see a big reaction or big expectation yet in the stock market. this is all something that's happening in the bigger markets of the dollar and bonds and in gold. i don't look for a big move there. also not moving things here, when you look at jobs, we just got the jobs report. this is the other big headline of the morning. only 90,000 new jobs created in march. that is a disappointment. when i dig into these numbers, who we see are losses in retail jobs. we have been telling you how the amazons and walmarts have been eating up the traditional brick and mortar retailers.
they are having a lot of lay offs. you also saw mining jobs add. quickly here is the unemployment rating itself, 4.5%. those are the two big stories here. we have the jobs report and the instant reaction to the middle east, guys. >> let's discuss the state of play of all that's going on right now. we have the republican senator of colorado, a member of the foreign relations committee. senator, good to have you, as always. what is your take on the missile strike by the united states in syria? >> i think this was an appropriate response to the treacherous acts of assad regime. the chemical acts have to be dealt with by a global coalition. that's what i think and i hope we will begin to see is the formulation of a well thought out plan to address the future of peace for syria and the protection of the syrian people. >> senator, did you know that this was coming? >> no, but i understand that
there was the appropriate consultation with members of congress and i'm looking forward to more in terms of classified information and a plan coming forward from the administration. this isn't something that the administration should continue unilaterally. this is something we should hear from a global coalition as we put forward a plan they should lead. i hope we could see this emergence of a plan to put an end to the assad regime to protect the people of syria. >> i hear you. i just want to talk about -- i don't know if you were watching us with senator tim kaine. but this is part of a pattern, right? i don't think president trump deserves any blame for taking this action, by the way, because congress has traditional now seeded authority to presidents as somewhat of a practical an doe case of your professional duty to declare war. it is hard to argue there is legal authority what the president just did. you said he did the appropriate
consultation. what is that in your mind? >> i think he did have the appropriate authority for this activity. >> how so? >> if you look at the violation of law, if you look at the 2001 amf, i believe he did have the authority to do that. that's not to say there shouldn't be consultation, that congress should sit back and watch more actions take place, if that's indeed what happens. i do think the administration has an obligation to come to congress. if senator kaine and john mccain put forward an aumf that is appropriate and doesn't put limitations on achieving the end result, that is something congress can look at. but i don't think there is a doubt about the authority the president used. >> let's discuss that because it is about terrorism. i don't know how you extend it to assad. in terms of international -- >> syria is the state sponsor of terror. >> right. that's your designation and i'm not questioning it. but if you look at the language,
it has about specific threat to the homeland. that's what it was about and it became an extended justification of allowing presidents to go abroad in furtherance of national interests that have been encroaching past constitutional limits and internationally, what legal authority is there for allowing the united states to unilaterally enforce international law without un approval? >> well, again, the united states is a part of the united nations. >> they didn't vote on this. >> there is a number of resolutions, a number of -- >> one that would allow this action in syria, and they wouldn't vote about it yesterday. >> chris, you have to admit, even you would agree this was a violation of humanitarian law. do you doubt that? >> you have the question of what it is and you have the question of what you're allowed to do about it. i think you could very easily have international authority if the un security council had voted. i get it is dubious because you
have russia having a seat on the security council. but who is allowed to do what matters because over time you establish a line about what's okay. i think it's unclear what a president of the united states is not allowed to do when it comes to military action. can you answer that. >> if you look at the 2001 aumf has the authority to address isis. obviously the actions at syria very much at the heart of our right to eliminate and destroy isis. if you look at international law that was clearly violated, they clearly violated and crossed the line into the violation of international law. we saw an appropriate targeted proportional response to an air base. we have seen the united kingdom, france, germany, nations in the middle east express their approval for the strike last night. but this is one action. now, the next action has to be a
well thought out plan that leads to our national security interest in the middle east. and that is an end to the assad regime. we need to see that happen. we have to have peace for the people in syria. that means a safe zone, a way for them to protect themselves from the treacherous acts of the assad regime and that we have to make sure that we are bringing the fight to isis. and they threaten our way of life and our allies, whether it is increasing migrant floes around the world. the number of displaced persons has reacheds its highest since world war ii. now, we can't just sit idly by and expect the white house to continue these actions without consultation and i don't think that's what they intend to do. >> the white house is only one part of the equation. it will be interesting to see if congress owns it, debates it, authorized a new aumf or decides
to declare war because all of those are within your constitutional authority. what you said about refugees, do you think that the president has had a change of heart? that his sympathies for the long-standing humanitarian atrocities should be necessarily extended to those refugees where the president and many members of your party have been very closed off to the possibility of having them in the united states? if you care about them there, should you care about the refugees as well? >> well, look, i don't speak for the white house. you have to ask them. what i can say is a realization by the president that the united states cannot lead from behind. to bring a coalition of partner nations together to respond to the senseless, incredibly depraved act of using chemical weapons against its own people has to stop. so i think whether it is a
refugee question for the white house or an action that we're going to take against the assad regime, it is important that we have that, hear that conversation. you're right, chris. we have seeded far too much authority. the left sided branch has seeded far too much on any number of issues, from regulatory issue to military issues. i do think it is time for congress to step up into this fight. but i don't question the ability or resolve of this president when it comes to this strike. >> senator, appreciate you being on the show to make the case. be well. alison? >> we'll have much more of our breaking news coverage on the air strikes in syria when new day returns. your ordinary lawn into an extraordinary one. so start your trugreen lawn plan today for only $29.95.
the u.s. hit syria's air base with tomahawk missiles just about 12 hours ago. if you are just waking up, obviously this is a big departure from where president trump and his administration has been in terms of russia and assad just this week. can the president now convince congress to authority military force if he wants to do anymore and how will this crisis shape the trump presidency and the world? we have an all-star panel here to discuss all of that. we have chris, the editor at large for cnn politics and cnn military analysts. thank you all for being here.
let me start with you. how do you see what's happens? >> this is a limited strike. it was very concentrated, putting almost 60 tomahawks into a small air base. i like the choice of target. the president wanted to go after the one that was responsible for this chemical weapons strike. that's good. but it has a second benefit. this is on the main highway between damascus and homes. a lot of the syrian people will know they have been struck and for some of them that will be a good sign that the united states is finally taking action to rectify some of the wrongs of the assad regime. >> where is your head on what happens next, assuming the president does go to congress and say, look, i did what i thought is right. i think we need to do more.
that's what the military experts are telling me. now it is on you. what do you think congress does wth this? >> past this prologue, they won't do much. remember, barack obama tried to get authorization and never even brings it to a vote because he knows he can't win. let's see. i think if he does it relatively quickly with a plan, you've had a lot of people on this morning saying this is a good first step, but what's the end game? where does it end? i don't think he could just say, hey, i think we should do more of this. i think it has to be toward an end. obviously the republicans are the majority in the senate and the house, so that will help him with his numbers. but there is still this -- this is not an easy issue, right? there is a reason that there is smart people on both sides of it. so i think you are going to see an active debate if he goes to congress. if health care is any indication, which you never know, but members go their own way on these things. the idea they are just going to
do whatever president trump says or frankly do what any president says is not true. this will be a real debate if he tries to go that route. i think what we're seeing is this was a limited targeted strike. does it go beyond this what's the plan if it goes beyond this? how much is trump willing to share with members of congress. that determines its chances of success. >> chris john, internationally speaking, what has been the world's response to what happened 12 hours ago? >> well, it is being really digested around the world. i think first and foremost talk about russia and chinese response because those are the main ok strok tinstructors. the russians have been strong and angry, as you could imagine. but crucially the foreign minister said he doesn't think this will deal an irreversible blow to u.s./russia relations and tech tear of state tillerson is due no moscow next week and
they expect that trip to continue. china has also said we are against, you know, any use of chemical weapons. we don't agree with intervention. but that's what it is. and actually it is crucial because it happened at a time when china's president is meeting with president trump and they had north korea to deal with going forward and the rest of the allies believe this was the right thing to do. that finally the united states enforced the intolerable nature of the illegal use of weapons of mass destruction and finally the red line on this issue was enforced. but nobody really believes that it's the beginning of a mass invasion or forcible removal of assad from power. still very much focussed on isis. >> john kirby, how do you see this affecting u.s./russia relations? there has been a lot of back and forth in the last 24 hours before, during and after the actual strike. what do you think the difference
is? >> i think it's certainly not going to do anything to warm or improve relations with russia, certainly with respect to syria, but on other issues as well. their statement is terse, angry, it's predictable. whatever honeymoon there may have been between the trump administration and putin is pretty well over with this strike. i do want to go back to something that chris was talking about and the authorization of the use of military force, i'm not sure that president trump will go to congress and ask for something new or something different. i mean, when you listen to the statements last night, particularly from secretary tillerson, it was pretty clear they view this as one off, that they have no intention of doing something like this again. >> there is no such thing as illegal one off, right? you don't get a free by. you have to have lawful authority. i don't know where that authority exists right now. >> no question. i don't disagree with you at all, chris, and i agree that the
amf doesn't cover this and there should be a discussion with congress. i don't know that's their intent. i think the sense i got last night was they believe this was targeted. it was limited. it was discreet in terms of retaliating for a specific attack by the assad regime. i don't know that they have an intention to necessarily have a long-term strategy. i think that's a mistake because i think now whether they like it or not, i have that put their thumb on the scale in a civil war. we have not to date taken a strike against the assad regime. that's now changed. and it does introduce come unpredictable outcomes going forward. i would hope they're thinking about potential repercussions and going forward and trying to develop a strategy. i'm not sure that's where their head space is right now. >> we are going to bring in
fareed sa car yeah. it is day 78 of the trump presidency. what happened last night? >> i think this was a big moment because candidate trump had said he would never get involved in the syrian civil war. he told president obama you cannot do this without congress. president trump recognized that the president of the united states does have to act to enforce international laws, does have to have this broader moral and political purpose. president trump realized, as every president has for many decades now, that presidents always believe they have inherent legal authority as commander in chief and they don't need to go to a pesky congress every time they want military force. it is entirely true that candidate trump felt differently. candidate obama felt differently than president obama on these issues. what i think is interesting is the way in which he justified
his actions. for the first time he talked about international norms, international rules about america's role in enforcing justice in the world. it was the kind of rhetoric we have come to expect from american presidents since harry truman but the kind of rhetoric that president trump had pointedly never used, either on the campaign trail. it has been an education of donald trump. >> you know, look, the legal argument here about authority or not, it should be going on and our congress will see. they ducked it to point. but you have these ideas of moral agency and international expectations and how this motivates further action by allies. what are you hearing in terms of that? while this missile strike might mean as a reverberation to all our allies. >> well, look, many of us who had been hoping that president obama would enforce his red line and there were many who didn't
agree with that, we believed and many people around the world believe based on what we have seen and military offenses that have been going on before that this had to happen because otherwise it would continue and in fact everybody was proved right. everybody that said that was a missed opportunity in 2013 were proved absolutely right. president assad continued to use chemical weapons. not always sarin but chlorine and others. scores of people have been killed in the last four years in syria by the use of chemical weapons. now you have this mega use this past week of a nerve agent along apparently with some chlorine as well. it was vital for the international community to put down its red line because this is not just an american line. this is a line under the geneva conventions and under international law that you cannot in fact use weapons of mass destruction with impunity. if this strike by president
trump actually does deter as the british defense secretary has said, as the germans today, the japanese, israel, many governments have gone on to support this based on the fact that the use of these illegal weapons under sbigsal law is forbidden and is not just happening in a vacuum. north korea is presenting a massive and grows threat and they're an even bigger threat because they have a potential nuclear weapon capability on the horizon that one day they believe will be able to target the united states. president trump and xi are sitting right there. they are the two leaders with the biggest influence and that must be the atmosphere for their talking today in mar-a-lago. >> i think chris is exactly right. the north korean problem is much more serious and one wonders how this reverberates. north corrkorea has actual nucl weapons. >> so are they paying attention
today to the u.s. reaction to syria? >> one would imagine they are paying attention to it. but i think part of what they will also pay attention to is whether there is follow through. the real die llemma that the tr administration faces is this has been thought through. they provided a discreet, manageable target, one which has very little civilian casualties or spill over. but by that same logic, it will nothing to alter the balance of power in syria. >> except it shows a statement of intentions on a political level, that if you want to see it this way you could. >> well -- >> obama didn't take an action. you can argue all day why he didn't. but now something has been done to north korea, china, russia and others there is a chance the u.s. will do more than talk. is that a good thing? >> that is a good thing, but it is the norm.
the statement is about the use of chemical weapons. my point is the statement is not about getting rid of assad because this really doesn't do much to change that and assad will continue and will continue frankly to kill women and children, probably using barrel bombs and artillery shells rather than chemical weapons. so the question becomes do we now get more involved in the syrian civil war? because we have put our thumb on the scale. if you put your thumb on the scale as the united states of america, do you have to follow through? do we need to win in the sense of making sure that the assad regime is in some way toppled, ousted, ushered out? and if not, will we look six months from now, a year from now, will we look weaker and more impotent because this was president obama's great worry, if you put your thumb on the scale and you don't win, what does that look like? >> you are the perfect person to ask. you understand military
strategy. what does happen next in terms of what syria does, what the u.s. does, what russia does? >> right now the ball is actually in president assad's court. we'll see what he does. but i think that we are at a cross roads right now because as the admiral said, this is the first time we have gone against the syrian regime. everything we have done up until now has been towards the defeat of isis. are we going to go back to the policy of demanding the reprooufl of assad and the defeat of isis? that goes back to the obama policy. is that what we're going to do? if so, that represents a real shift in what this president said during the campaign and in his first few days in office. and that will really dilute our military effort. i think it is very important that we continue to do that. these one off attacks, if that's what they're going to call it, i think are important, but i think we should focus on the real mission, and that's going after isis. >> i think we also need to be mindful that -- i'm sorry to
interrupt, but i want to follow up on rick because he's exactly right. i think we need to also be mindful of the expectations of others now as a result of this strike. for instance, you saw turkey last night applaud this and say now is the time to start setting up no fly zones, which they have been arguing for two years or more they want. our suni allies who have been desire rouse in terms of getting more aggressive in supporting opposition groups on the ground they feel embolden to pursue those more aggressively. and the opposition groups themselves may now see this as an opening to try to solicit more of that support. so i think there is expectation management here we all have to watch. >> panel thank you very much for all of your expertise, your service. we appreciate you giving so much context on this very important morning. >> all right. cnn's breaking coverage is going to continue right now on the news room.
stay with cnn. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> good morning, everyone. i'm john berman. i'm poppy harlow. we want to welcome our viewers and we do begin with breaking news. russia and syria firing off at the u.s. after president's trump decision to release a wave of air strikes against the syrian regime. russia which of course has helped assad now calling american military action an act of aggression and warning the risk of a u.s./russia collision in syria has, quote, significantly increased. overnight u.s. warships in the med ter ran yan launching 59 tom hawk missiles aimed at