Trump says Gulf states will pay for Syria safe zones


1-24 NEWS – US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that the government is ‘going to have the Gulf States pay’ for safe zones for refugees in war-torn Syria.

Addressing a rally in Florida that the White House called “a campaign rally for America”, Trump for the first time mentioned a possible source of funding.

The president said last month that he “will absolutely do safe zones in Syria for the people” instead of accepting the country’s refugees, corroborating details of a draft executive order calling for “the US to create “a plan to provide safe areas in Syria and in the surrounding region” for displaced residents.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has supported the creation of such safe zones.

But this month, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said it was “not a realistic idea at all.”

On Saturday, Trump also continued his attack on media outlets, claiming that they invent news stories based on nonexistent “sources.”

“The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources… they just don’t want to report the truth,” he said.

“They’ve become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system.”

And he promised the crowd that the planned wall on the US-Mexico border will begin construction “very shortly.”

He reiterated his pledge to crack down on terrorism, saying he has asked Defense Secretary James Mattis to draft a “plan to totally destroy ISIS,” the Islamic State extremist group.

“I’ve ordered decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said, drawing loud cheers.

At one point Trump broke security protocol by inviting a supporter to hop a barrier and join him onstage.

“I wouldn’t say that the Secret Service was thrilled with that,” he said.

Trump held the the rally in Melbourne, a city on Florida’s famed Space Coast, as the nation’s commander-in-chief sought to reconnect with his base of supporters.

Local police said 9,000 people attended the rally.

The rally locale had all the flair and anticipation of a campaign event from 2016: Thousands of supporters in line, women wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats, men in “Bikers for Trump” shirts, toddlers asleep on parents’ shoulders, and plenty of Trump merchandise for sale.

The past week was marked by Trump’s national security adviser’s resignation, a withdrawal by one of his cabinet nominees, and a startling news conference loaded with vituperation, his team appears to have seen a return to his political bread and butter to be in order.

Tensions have soared in recent days as lawmakers pressed for more information about the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.

Congress is already investigating Russian interference in the November 8 presidential election, and the issue appeared to exasperate Trump on Thursday at his extraordinary news conference, where he denied his campaign had contact with Moscow.

As reporters pressed him on the sensitive issues, he lashed out, then ratcheted up his anti-journalist tirade in a Friday tweet, calling the media “FAKE NEWS” and “the enemy of the American people!”

It marked a new level of abrasiveness for Trump, who has made clear he believes the media are out to sink his presidency.

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