Donald Trump has revealed he ordered the strikes on a Syrian airfield while eating "a beautiful piece of chocolate cake" with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The US President said he and his Chinese counterpart were having dinner at his Florida resort when he gave orders to fire 59 cruise missiles at the airfield where a chemical attack was allegedly launched.
The chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun on 4 April killed 87 people, many of them children.
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Speaking to Fox Business Network, Mr Trump said: "We had finished dinner, we were now having dessert and we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you have ever seen. President Xi was enjoying it.
"I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do? We made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way.
"I said, 'Mr President, let me explain something to you' - this is during dessert.
"'We have just fired 59 missiles, all of which hit by the way, unbelievable, from hundreds of miles away.'
"It's so incredible, it's brilliant, it's genius."
Mr Trump had said the missiles were heading towards Iraq but corrected himself when the interviewer prompted him.
When he was asked how the Chinese President reacted, Mr Trump said: "He paused for 10 seconds and then he asked the interpreter to please say it again. I didn't think that was a good sign.
"Then he said to me... 'Anybody that was so brutal and uses gas to do that to young children and babies - it's okay. He was okay with it."