As Tillerson visits Moscow, Trump calls Assad an 'animal'
MOSCOW - President Donald Trump says Russian President Vladimir Putin is backing an "evil person" in Syria.
Trump says Syrian President Bashar Assad is "an animal." He tells Fox Business Network that Putin's support for Assad is "very bad for Russia." Trump says it's also "very bad for mankind."
Trump is increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to abandon Assad just as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting Moscow. Tillerson has a meeting set later Wednesday in Moscow with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. It's unclear whether Putin will grant Tillerson a meeting.
The meeting comes as early expectations of an easy rapport between the Trump administration and Russia are crashing into reality. Washington and Moscow are trading sharp accusations about a chemical weapons attack last week in Syria.
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