In a pair of particularly undiplomatic posts on Twitter, President Trump on Wednesday told Russia to "get ready" for American "smart" missiles targeted at Syria, just days after the Kremlin vowed it would shoot down U.S. rockets.
"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'" he said.
"You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!" the president added.
Twenty minutes later, perhaps after Trump had a second cup of coffee, the president was more diplomatic toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, writing: "Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?"
The president's tweets come in an increasingly belligerent battle of words. Earlier this week, Russia's ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, said Russia would target any incoming missiles to Syria. Last week, reports emerged that a chemical weapons attack had killed at least 40 rebels — Trump blamed Russia and Iran for the attack, both of which have denied the allegation.
"If there is a U.S. missile attack, we — in line with both Putin and Russia's chief of staff's remarks — will shoot down U.S. rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles," Zasypin said, according to Al Jazeera.
Trump has also blamed Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a strong ally of Russia. “It was an atrocious attack. It was horrible,” Trump said at the White House. “This is about humanity and it can’t be allowed to happen.”
“Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad," he added on Twitter.
By 9 a.m., Trump had calmed down, blaming the Russia-collusion probe for the current "bad blood" with Russia.