Trump disses running mate Pence’s Syria view

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Presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) greets Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) during a campaign rally at Grant Park Event Center in Westfield, Indiana, on July 12, 2016. / AFP / Tasos KATOPODIS (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- Republican candidate Donald Trump flatly contradicted his running mate on Syria policy in the second presidential debate Sunday, signaling a lack of cohesion on foreign policy issues.

"He and I haven't spoken, and he and I disagree," Trump said in response to a question about whether he backs the possible use of military force against the Assad regime in Syria as staked out by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, with whom he shares the ticket, at the vice presidential debate on Tuesday.

Trump at Sunday night's presidential town hall was asked how he would deal with the ongoing humanitarian crisis triggered by the Syrian regime's bombing of Aleppo, a rebel stronghold, which it's doing in cooperation with Russia.

The GOP nominee indicated that he didn't think that Russia was part of the problem. Instead, he said that Russia is fighting ISIS, a conclusion that is not shared by US intelligence agencies, the Obama administration or US allies.

"Russia is killing ISIS," Trump said, making similar comments about the Assad regime. "Syria is fighting ISIS."

In Tuesday's vice presidential debate, Pence said he felt the US ought to establish safe zones and meet Russian "provocations" with strength, backing the use of military force if necessary.

**Continuing coverage, here**

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