Trump, Xi talked Syria strike over 'beautiful' chocolate cake

But the Chinese leader then bestowed his blessing, Trump said, because of the brutality of the Idlib chemical attack.

Behind closed doors, a top Trump aide said China's abstention at the United Nations helped show how isolated the Assad regime and its Russian backers - who vetoed the resolution - were. That's a big step, Trump said.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump was more specific and backed away from a campaign promise to tackle China for manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage. "I think Syria would be a lot better off right now than it has been".

Mr Trump claimed he had got on well with the Chinese President.

Trump told Bartiromo that after he'd delivered the news, Xi paused for 10 seconds. "And no, I was not surprised that China did abstain", Trump told reporters at a joint White House news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The meeting between the two world leaders came following recent escalating tensions between the USA and China over the South China Sea dispute as well as Syria.

But Trump made labeling China a currency manipulator a signature campaign issue and a regular applause line at rallies.

"The president is beginning to adjust his policies to economic reality", says Joshua Meltzer, a specialist in global trade and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "Maybe he didn't like me but I think he liked me ... we understand each other". He was known as a candidate who rarely dug deep, and he employed few policy experts to inform his views. The course correction - or restoration - appeared to stem from assessments that outreach to Russian Federation and China, both long distrusted by the Washington establishment, should not be at the expense of the long-serving North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance where the primary differences were about spending money on defense and a more stringent immigration policy that U.S. wants to pursue while tying it to terrorism. Meanwhile, North Korea's foreign ministry warned of "catastrophic consequences" after Trump deployed the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and its battle group to the Korean Peninsula.

His demotion was seen as another sign that the more moderate, establishment orientated influences in his administration - epitomized by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Trump's daughter Ivanka, and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn - were rising to the detriment of Bannon and his anti-establishment cohort Stephen Miller.

Trump has also been turning to outside business leaders, including many he's known for years, for guidance. "Yes - heading toward Syria, and I wanted you to know that".

In truth, at least judged by their actions, or inactions more specifically, the folks who make up "The Resistance" don't care about Trump's massacres of civilians in foreign lands, just as they didn't care about Obama's.

As for the Secretary of Defense James Mattis, he says that ISIS is our number one priority but adds that if Syria uses chemical weapons again they "will pay a very, very stiff price".

And it changed the subject from the investigations into Russian interference - and possible collaboration with his campaign - in the USA election.

In February of 2016 Trump said, "and if they don't stop devaluing we're going to have to charge them a tax on the goods coming in". "That's his pipeline to supporters, and he still has it".

  • Leroy Wright