PALM BEACH — About an hour after arriving at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, President Donald Trump gave final approval to fire missiles at a Syrian air base in response to Bashar al-Assad‘s use of chemical weapons, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said today.
Trump landed at Palm Beach International Airport at 2:50 p.m. on Thursday and arrived at Mar-a-Lago at 3:15 p.m.
At 4 p.m. Thursday — after more than two days of reviewing options for a response to the chemical weapons attack — Trump met in a “secure room” at Mar-a-Lago with Secretary of Defense James Mattis and others and gave the final OK for the missile strikes.
The Tomahawk Cruise missiles were launched from two Navy ships in the Mediterranean at about 7:40 p.m. eastern time Thursday while Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were having dinner at Mar-a-Lago. All 59 missiles began hitting their targets at about 8:30 p.m., Spicer said at a briefing today.
Trump informed Xi of the missile strikes after dinner and shortly before the Chinese delegation departed Mar-a-Lago for the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan. The president then returned to a secure room with top advisers for a briefing on the military action before speaking to the public around 10 p.m.