It probably wasn’t the interview that CNN’s Brook Baldwin expected on the April 7th edition of Newsday. Two days earlier, Kassem Eid, a survivor of the 2013 chemical attack, pleaded with President Trump to do something about Assad. He returned, via Skype, to heap praise on Trump and scold the network for hyping a statement by Hillary Clinton.
“Thank you, again, Brooke, for having me. I woke up for some reason, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up. I saw a lot of texts on my phone. I saw the news. I cried out of joy. I thanked god. I don’t know. I was overwhelmed. We’ve been asking for protection. We’ve been asking for consequences for more than six years I cried out of joy. I thanked god. I don’t know. I was overwhelmed. We’ve been asking for protection. We’ve been asking for consequences for more than six years and today for the first time it happened, for the very first time we see Assad held accountable just for once, held accountable for his crimes against humanity,” Eid said. “I was overwhelmed. I felt grateful for President Trump. I felt grateful for the United States. I felt grateful for each and every person who lobbied and kept on talking until someone actually listened. I felt very, very grateful.”
“Kassem, I understand your gratitude but still you bring up Assad. He’s still there, and, you know, the real question is what’s next?” Baldwin asked.
“You’re right,” Eid said. “You’re absolutely right. Assad is still in Damascus. He’s still ordering his troops to kill and rape and torture. He killed half a million people and displaced 12 million people. He tortured thousands and thousands of people like we saw in the report. He raped thousands and thousands of women. He helped creating is with his atrocities. He drove people to desperation to join extremist groups when they didn’t find justice and they went after revenge. He displaced millions of people. He made — he remember the little boy who drowned at the sea. He made him drown and run for his life, just like he made millions of Syrians leave their houses. We ask for safe zones in Syria. I was talking with my friends inside of Syria. Everybody kept telling me, please, if you’re going to talk again, please, for the love of god, tell them we need safe zones. Tell them to stop Assad’s airplanes from keep bombing us. Shortly after the raid on Assad’s airport, the Assad regime and the Russians launched many attacks all across Syria with aircrafts, and they target hospitals and schools and civilians.”
Baldwin then played a clip of Clinton, who said: “We cannot in one breath speak of protecting Syrian babies and in the next close America’s doors to them.”
Newsbusters posted a transcript of what happened next, as Eid hammered the network:
EID: With all due respect, with all due respect, I didn’t see each and every person who was demonstrating after the travel ban. I didn’t see you three days ago when people were gassed to death, when civilians were gassed to death. I didn’t see you in 2013 when 1,400 people were gassed to death. I didn’t see you raising your voice against President Obama’s inaction in Syria that led us refugees, that made us refugees get kicked out of Syria. If you really care about refugees, if you really care about helping us, please, help us stay in our in our country.
EID: We don’t want to come to United States. We want to stay in our country, with all due respect. This is hypocrisy. If you really care, if you really care, help us stay in our country. We don’t want to become refugees. We want to stay in our country. Help us establish safe zones.
EID: Help us stay in our country…
EID: …and if you just give me a few seconds just to tell President Trump once again, please, sir, what you did was amazing, what you did was powerful message of hope for a lot of people inside and outside of Syria. Please, don’t stop on this. Please, help Syrians stay in their country. Please establish safe zones…
EID: …and please take out Assad owes air force so they won’t be able to commit more atrocities committing traditional weapon. Just so people can know what we’ve suffered in the past six years.
At that point, the interview ended. Baldwin, P.J. Gladnick said, “looked like she was trying to painfully blink away the memory of the previous few minutes.”
Here’s video of the interview:
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- Videos: Syrian survivors speak about chemical bombs falling from sky
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