United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that President Donald Trump decided to act last week and send missiles into Syria because "enough if enough."
Two U.S. Navy destroyers launched 59 tomahawk missiles into Syria late last Thursday to destroy an airbase controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime. Just days prior, the regime used the airbase to launch a chemical weapons attack on a nearby rebel-held city.
After the attack, pictures and videos from the city streamed across the world showing the the effects the sarin gas attack had on Syrians. In all, at least 86 people died from exposure to the very lethal gas while scores of others were injured.
"The entire administration was in agreement that this was something that had to be done. This was something that needed to tell Assad, 'Enough is enough,'" she said.
But the missile strike had a second message, Haley said.
"And this is something to let Russia know, 'You know what? We're not going to have you cover for this regime anymore. And we're not going to allow things like this to happen to innocent people,'" the former South Carolina governor explained.
Haley went on to describe the missile strike as a "moderate approach" and warned that Trump is capable of much more.
"And you're not going to see the president come out and tell you what his plan is," she said.
Show host Chuck Todd later pressed Haley over whether or not the administration will release evidence that the chemical weapons attack was indeed spearheaded by the Assad regime. After all, Russia — a parter and supporter of Assad — made claims that regime bombs hit chemical weapon depots operated by Syrian rebels and even that the entire attack was staged.
But according to Haley, Russia's faulty claims were made to simply cover for Assad. She pointed to Russia's initial reaction to the strike, which was to defend the Syrian regime instead of voice sympathy for the casualties.
She added that going forward, the U.S. is not going to allow Russia to "have Assad's back anymore."
"What we are going to say is, 'Look, when you have a violation of the chemical weapons issue, and you've got a violation of Security Council resolutions over and over again, and you vetoed, seven times, to protect this war criminal, we're going to call you out on it,'" Haley said.
"We're going to call you out for the fact that you're covering up," she explained.
If Russia continues to cover for Assad, Haley warned the Trump administration will "respond accordingly."
Watch the full interview below: