President Donald Trump said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping about his decision to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria while the men ate dessert at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, last week.
During the interview, Trump seemed to dwell on the fact that the two world leaders were enjoying some delicious cake.
“I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen, and President Xi was enjoying it,” Trump recalled in an interview with Fox News Business host Maria Bartiromo that aired on Wednesday.
“And I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do?” Trump went on. “And we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way. And I said, ‘Mr. President, let me explain something to you.’”
“So what happens is, I said, ‘We’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this.’ And he was eating his cake. And he was silent,” Trump added.
Bartiromo then quickly interjected by noting the strikes were launched against Syria, not Iraq.
“Yes. Heading toward Syria,” Trump affirmed. “And I want you to know that, because I didn’t want him to go home. We were almost finished. It was a full day in Palm Beach. We’re almost finished, and I — what does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, ‘You know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?’”
“How did he react?” Bartiromo asked.
“So he paused for 10 seconds and then he asked the interpreter to please say it again. I didn’t think that was a good sign,” Trump said. “And he said to me, ‘Anybody that uses gases ... but anybody that was so brutal and uses gases to do that young children and babies, it’s OK.’”
“He was OK with it. He was OK,” Trump added.