Newt Gingrich incorrectly said President Obama "dumped" U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak "overnight" amid mass protests demanding the end of his 30-year rule. And he said it's ironic that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had received "amazingly soft treatment" as though the State Department was "afraid to make him feel bad." The Obama administration had initially refrained from calling publicly for Mubarak to step down, saying the decision was for the Egyptian people to make. Then Obama called on Assad to step down pointedly-- and the administration imposed a raft of sanctions meant to isolate Damascus from the U.S. financial system by freezing the Syrian government's assets under U.S. jurisdiction, banning U.S. imports of Syrian-origin petroleum and petroleum products, and banning Americans from engaging in any transaction involving the government of Syria.
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