Calling the Syrian strongman “a guy who’s really good at killing terrorists,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has named Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as his running mate.
“Listen, this guy is a really, really bad guy. Really bad guy,” Trump said as he introduced Assad at a campaign rally. “But you know what he does good? He kills terrorists. I mean, he kills people with long beards and those stupid things on their heads, I assume they’re terrorists.”
Assad was not Trump’s first choice for the position. Trump’s preferred candidate, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a man Trump recently praised, was executed in 2006 for crimes against humanity. Trump had also been vetting Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un as potential VP nominees.
Democrats and many Republicans criticized the pick, noting that along with being a war criminal, Assad was not born in America and is therefore ineligible to serve as president. Trump, however, rebutted these claims, saying that questioning Assad’s place of birth was “completely inappropriate and, frankly, a bit racist.”