Sean Spicer Off- Camera Briefing on Syria CSPAN April 7, 2017 4:13pm-4:31pm EDT
asked were by other justices. i was aware but i didn't know what the first question would actually be. direction my what colleagues were going to go with their direction and what would be left for me to ask. the questions i asked were a product of the flow of the conversation. >> that was part of what chief justice roberts and associate justice had to say about their earliest days on the supreme court. neil gorsuch joins the court after being confirmed by the senate earlier today by a 54-45 vote. secretary sean spicer the trumpis photo of administration officials receiving everything after president trump ordered and -- an airstrike on a syrian airfield. the press secretary spoke with
reporters in an off-camera briefing. here is that now. respect to theth president, we intend to have a readout later. we'll see what the rest of the day looks like. i want to provide a bit of a update on the president's actions. with respect to the actions that the president took in syria and the questions regarding the timeline. the president was informed during the course of his daily presidential briefing about the actions in syria. he at that time asked the team for additional information and updates. our team spent the day developing an initial range of
options for the president. on tuesday night, there was a restricted deputy meeting. on tuesday night, there was an additional deputies meeting where options were presented and refined. guidance was developed. we gave further guidance to refine. security meeting was convened where the president was briefed on options. he reviewed the options in detail. he requested further information and the decision to reconvene on thursday was made. it was about 1:30. the president convened the national security team.
later that day, at approximately 4:00, the president, the secretary of state, other members of the national security team that in a secure room down here. were piped in with the rest of the team. the president gave the go-ahead. the missiles were launched from navy destroyers in the eastern mediterranean. -- 19:40 eastern. notification began. the vice president called leaderscongressional and began calling some foreign leaders. the secretary of state, secretary of defense.
defense ministers and congressional leaders as well. around 8:30, the first impact began on the ground. the president informed the president that the strikes were occurring. there were strikes all on the national security team. after dinner, the president went back out to a secure room where he was briefed by the secretary of state -- secretary of defense, joint chiefs. of defense was on the line. several other members were convening in the situation in washington dc. the president was updated on the effectiveness. we were informed that battle damage assessment would take a few hours but that an initial results were extremely positive.
he asked about the reaction from the world community as well. it was a fairly unanimous praise for the decision and action that the president took. that was the tick-tock. we provided the president with updates this morning. as soon as his president -- his meeting with president xi concluded -- >> what happens from here? >> i think you heard the president talk. he is not going to telegraph his next move. very decisive, justified and proportional to the actions he felt needed. it sent a very strong signal to not just syria but throughout the world. --
i think that his actions were very clear under article two in our nation's national security. it is very important national security interest in the region. there is a huge humanitarian component to this. >> can you be more specific about what the three options presented to the president where russian mark -- were? what were his recommendations and requests to the team? sean spicer: i will get into the specifics. -- i won't get into the specifics. i will say that as i mentioned, both the secretary of defense mcmaster andrector he rest of the national security
team and others were consulted. occurred on tuesday at 10:30 when the president was made aware of this. this is a very evolving process in which the president was given updates. an ultimate decision was made yesterday. >> i think you said the meeting with president xi was after? sean spicer: i think the impact had been made. occurred at around 8:30 last night eastern time. presidentent informed xi.
it was at the end of the meeting. where the exact timeline is, i don't know. impact had been made by the time he informed president xi. >> the president said that north korea -- was there any broader message -- if you don't help us crackdown -- orth korea sean spicer: they will be a read later today. i believe what the president stated was simply that action had been taken, what he was doing, what had happened. i do think there was any immediate access.
i was not present for the conversation. >> how many meetings was the president personally involved with throughout this process? -- five if you count the other one. >> since he won't outline what -- there arext people who want to be involved. the keycer: congressional members were informed. now that action has been taken, they will start to have more
with the secretary of defense, secretary of the state. knowerstand your desire to what is going on but i think those are conversations that will be held fairly privately in terms of preserving any future action. >> there are some reports -- there are concerns that the russians were involved. what is the latest on that? sean's visor the actions we were regime.gainst the assad russia, withto respect to the area of operation -- there was no political contact made in moscow. last night sent a very clear statement.
can you talk about the evolution over the last 52 hours? can you give us insight into the president's thinking? can you tell us how he got from point a to point b? the comments he made in the rose garden's before themselves. the assessment his team was provided with respect to the lies. especially the children' and babies who have been killed. chemicals had been used by as sad. the president was very taken by this.
a 72 hour evolution of receiving updates and options and refinement. once he was presented with these at 10: 30 on tuesday, he began asking a series of questions and got additional updates and assessment as to what happened and why it happened. >> waziristan's of skepticism in the beginning? -- was there a sense of skepticism in the beginning? spicer: he was very moved, he found the event very tragic. i think from the get-go it was disturbing and pride -- disturbing and tragic. it was very moving to him.
before we get too far, he had a very deliberate process of asking his national security team to develop options. sean spicer: those options usually start with zero and go all the way to 100. there was a level of assessment. refinement, a decision was made. i don't want to suggest that of immediate sense decision. it evolved over time. >> where there printed out images? >> i can go into it. they were very
clear images that were available. everyone in the world could see them. images a in the public -- were they in the public images? >> the president now believes that assad needs to leave power, is that correct? sean spicer: i think the president believes that the syrian government should agree to abide by the agreements that they made in reference to chemical weapons. i think that is where we start. a very clear message was sent last night. it was backed up and act out by our own leaders in this country and throughout the world. we were ones that action
against the assad regime could result in world war iii. is the president concerned about that happening? could they run into interference with the russians? sean spicer: i think you saw the response from the world committee -- community. they understand that the u.s. acted appropriately and in most widespread praise for the president's actions. -- rexm last night mcmaster, members of congress, defense ministers were praising the president's actions.
>> this clearly put a setback on the fight against isis. sean spicer: there can be a shared commitment to defeat isis. there --hink that there is a mutual level of human decency that we can expect out of everybody. i don't think that goes hand-in-hand with our national security interests. >> can you give us a sense of who the defense minister were talking to last night? sean spicer: the president was in meetings with president xi. russia called this a clear act of aggression. they said that the united states had been planning this before
the chemical attack. sean spicer: i think i just gave you a very clear tick-tock of one the president was notified. that pretty much before itself. -- speaks for itself. i think this was a clear response on humanitarian purposes that have been widely praised around the globe. as i mentioned at the outset, we will have a readout of that visit. we will have further information throughout the day. i want to get back our focus. i think we are in the midst of a visit. i think we need to conclude that. thank you guys very much. >> that off-camera briefing with press secretary john spicer -- sean