Mattis' remarks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing followed a series of Trump tweets this week that initially indicated he was committed to bombing Syria but later suggested he was awaiting further advice and assessment.
Trump also expressed confidence in the loyalty displayed by Cohen, his longtime personal and professional fixer, who ascended to one of the most powerful roles at the Trump Organization not filled by a family member.
Trump says that last Sunday, Syrian President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons in what was a "significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very bad regime".
Items belonging to missing family found in river amid search for bodies
Authorities say Kevin Ambrose killed Jennifer Bongco in his vehicle in July 2014 because he suspected she was having an affair. Then, in March, one of the Hart children began asking the DeKalbs for food, and claimed his mothers were withholding food.
In a statement that surprised even some White House staff, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's trip to Peru and Colombia - set to get under way on Friday - had been scrapped. No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! "We seem to say things and then move on. and the world is watching, and people are dying".
In 1947 Congress passed the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution, which limits presidents to eight to ten years in the White House.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief urges Russian Federation to 'exercise responsibility' on Syria
Vladimir Putin said the strikes were an "act of aggression" that would have a "destructive" influence on worldwide relations. Russia's Foreign Ministry says the attack was an attempt to derail an investigation into a purported chemical attack.
There are roughly 2,000 USA troops on the ground in Syria as of the last numbers the Pentagon released. Trump's ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told NBC News on Thursday the administration has "enough proof" of the chemical attack but was still considering its response. But Mr. Trump insisted Friday night the US does not intend to have a permanent presence in Syria. Cohen has steadfastly denied wrongdoing in his $130,000 payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and has publicly defended Trump, but he has confided in associates that he is fearful of being a fall guy, according to a person familiar with his thinking but not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.
Mattis said he personally believes Syria is guilty of an "inexcusable" use of chemical weapons, while noting that the worldwide fact-finding team would likely fall short of determining who was responsible. "The last time I jokingly said that, the papers started saying 'he's got despotic tendencies!' No, I'm not looking to do it, unless you want to do it".
Democrats wanted to go one step further and pass legislation protecting the Republican former Federal Bureau of Investigation director. More broadly, he doubted the wisdom of bombing.
UN Security Council rejects Russian Federation resolution on Syria strikes
Syria's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that Trump's threats to attack are "reckless" and endanger worldwide peace and security. The weekly journal Le Level stated the Russian aircraft had flown over the frigate Aquitaine and was absolutely armed.
Trump on Twitter Wednesday morning also issued a rare personal warning against Russian Federation, telling the country to "get ready" for a U.S. missile strike in Syria and saying their country "shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"