Trump says he made decision about Syrian strike over cake

Trump spoke about Syria and health care in an interview with Fox.

— -- President Trump said the United States is "not going into Syria" and recalled to Fox News the moment when he told Chinese President Xi Jinping over dessert that the U.S. had launched airstrikes in Syria.

Despite urging President Obama to stay out of Syria in 2013, Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday that he believes conditions in the country would not be as bad if Obama had acted earlier.

Trump explained how he told President Xi that the U.S. military had launched airstrikes in Syria in response to the chemical attack.

"I was sitting at the table, we had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert, and we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you have ever seen, and President Xi was enjoying it," said Trump, who hosted the Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago last Thursday and Friday.

"And I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do? And we made a determination to do it," Trump said about his decision to sign off on the airstrikes.

He continued, "And I said, Mr. President [Xi], let me explain something to you ... so what happens is I said 'We’ve just launched 59 missiles, heading to Iraq.'"

Bartiromo injected and corrected the president, "Headed to Syria."

"Yes, heading toward Syria," Trump said.

When asked about what the U.S. plans to do regarding North Korea, Trump said, "You never know, do you? You never know."

"I don’t talk about the military," he said. "We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: He is doing the wrong thing."

"Do you think he is mentally fit?" she said.

"I don't know, I don't know," Trump replied. "I don't know him. But he’s doing the wrong thing."

During the interview, Trump also addressed domestic matters, including health care and tax reform.

The president told Bartiromo that he remains focused on tackling health care.

"We're going to have a phenomenal tax reform," Trump said. "But I have to do health care first. I want to do it first to really do it right."

Explaining the logic, the president said he will be able to save a lot of money that will then be beneficial to taxes.

He would not put a deadline on when the agenda items will be accomplished but said he’ll move onto tax reform if health care doesn’t happen quickly enough.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events