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Rubio says Trump's Syria hit 'had a clear, strategic objective'

via @learyreports

Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday he opposed strikes in Syria in 2013 -- after first advocating for action -- because the Obama administration "had no clear objective."

"If we had armed non-jihadist elements on the ground, they could have overthrown (Assad)," Rubio said on ABC This Week. "That’s what I thought was the better approach at the time. The second is that the [Obama] administration, what they were proposing had no clear objective. They wanted to blow up some things to send a message. I don’t think you use the U.S. military simply to send a message. This strike was limited but it had a clear, strategic objective, which was the destruction or the degrading of a key air base installation that is used in these chemical attacks."

At the same time, Rubio criticized mixed signals coming from the Trump administration.

"There seems to be a difference between what Ambassador Haley is saying, as she said last night that Assad really has no future, and what I heard this morning from Secretary Tillerson. But look, I don’t mean to pick a fight with anyone here. What I’m telling you is, I think that the strategy he seems to be outlining is based on assumptions that aren't going to work. There is no such thing as 'Assad yes, but ISIS no.' This focus that you can defeat ISIS as long as Assad is there is not true."

Rubio also declared, "Mexico's not going to pay for the wall."

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times