Trump, responding to a Russian warning that it would shoot down any U.S. missiles headed for Syria, wrote on Twitter: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’ You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
Trump, as a candidate and before, railed against former President Barack Obama for doing exactly what he did himself on Wednesday: giving away his military plans.
His rants date back to 2013, when Obama announced that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would represent a “red line” that could spur a U.S. military response:
On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump referred numerous times to his secret plan to defeat the so-called Islamic State. He told Fox News in 2015 that he wasn’t broadcasting the plan because he didn’t want the enemy to know about it. He later said he was keeping it a secret so that his opponents in the presidential race didn’t catch on.
He maintained his stance into his own presidency.
“I don’t want to be one of these guys that say, yes, here’s what we’re going to do. I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do in North Korea,” Trump told a reporter last year.
This week, Trump at first seemed to be trying to maintain the element of surprise in announcing Monday that he would make a decision on how to respond in Syria within 24 to 48 hours.
But on Wednesday, Trump jumped the gun, revealing that airstrikes “will be coming.”
Russian and Syrian forces are reportedly preparing for strikes.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called out Trump’s hypocrisy on Wednesday, imploring the president to “follow his previous advice.”
This article has been updated with comment from Johnson.