Donald Trump escalated tensions with Russia Wednesday morning, threatening to attack Syria and chastising the Kremlin for its support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Saying “our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War,” Trump also seemingly criticized Russia for escalating the arms race—less than three months after he called on Congress to “modernized and rebuild our nuclear arsenal … making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression,” during his State of the Union address.
Later in the morning, Trump shifted tone slightly, saying “much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation”—and renewed his criticism of Democrats, Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, who has found himself in the hot seat recently after the FBI raided the office of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
Trump started the morning name complaining about the Mueller investigation, which he says “takes tremendous time and focus” away from his presidency. He also commented that the only obstruction he had committed was fighting back against the accusations.
Critics could contend Trump’s “other than…” could be taken as a confession of sorts to obstruction, though supporters of the president will likely interpret that statement differently.