Donald Trump defends ‘mission accomplished’ tweet amid backlash over Syrian airstrikes

Donald Trump defends ‘mission accomplished’ tweet amid backlash over Syrian airstrikes

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President Donald Trump was criticised for using the expression
President Donald Trump was criticised for using the expression "mission accomplished" in a tweet about airstrikes on Syrian military bases Credit: Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase "mission accomplished" to describe the completion of the Syrian bombing raids, calling it a "great military term" that should be used "often".

The US leader was criticised for making the triumphant declaration which was first used on a banner backdrop in a televised address by George W Bush, only six weeks after the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003.

It came back to haunt him as the conflict continued for another eight years and became a symbol of America's misjudgment.

Years later Mr Bush admitted: "It conveyed the wrong message."

But Mr Trump stood by his choice of words while again condemning the US media on Sunday morning.

A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2018

He tweeted: "The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term “Mission Accomplished.”

"I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!"

His controversial tweet on Saturday morning read: "A perfectly executed strike last night. Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military.

"Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!"

He was roundly condemned for his phraseology, with Democrat senator Brian Schatz, saying: "I didn't think I could be shocked by a tweet anymore but 'mission accomplished' was so surprising I had to double check that it was not a spoof."

However the US leader was supported by Dana White, the Pentagon spokesperson, who said: " We met our objectives. We hit the sites, the heart of the chemical weapons programme. So it was mission accomplished."


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