Watch: White House briefs press after Trump tweets threat of strike on Syria

Key Points
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement from Congress on Wednesday.
  • President Trump fired off a Wednesday morning tweet storm in which he said U.S. missiles against Syria "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"
  • Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday said the administration has "been advised that the president certainly has the power" to fire the special counsel.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is slated to field reporters' questions on Wednesday, following a major disruption in House leadership and a fresh crop of hawkish tweets from President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced that he will not seek re-election at the end of his current term. The 20-year veteran of Congress said he wanted to spend more time with his three children, all of whom were born after Ryan entered politics.

Trump thanked Ryan for his service in a tweet shortly following the speaker's press conference.

trump tweet ryan

Ryan's announcement was preceded by a string of tweets from Trump, who touched on subjects including special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election meddling and a possible U.S. military response to a suspected chemical attack in Syria.

Ten minutes later, Trump warned Russia not to shoot down U.S. missiles fired at Syria "because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'"

Trump said the FBI's Monday morning raid of the office and residence of his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, was "unthinkable" considering there is "No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back)."

He then added that there is "no reason" for the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and Russia, which is "worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War." Trump blamed "much of the bad blood with Russia" on Mueller's investigation, contending that "Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter)."

Trump's increasingly aggressive stance against Mueller trickled down to the White House press briefing yesterday, when Sanders told reporters that the administration has "been advised that the president certainly has the power" to fire the special counsel.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump attempted to fire Mueller in December before backing down — the second known instance of Trump trying to fire the special counsel.