tv FOX Report FOX News August 31, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
fox broadcast or watch fox news channel tomorrow at 2:00, 6:00 p.m. eastern time nap is it for this special report. for the first time president obama says he will seek authorization from congress. he says the u.s. should take military action against the assad regime inside war didn't torn syria for using chemical weapons on its citizens but according to the president he will wait for congress to vote on the issue. the news coming fast tonight from around the globe as the world watches and waits for a positive u.s. strike. prez obama making his case for action in a statement today in the rose garden saying the deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of their government should not go unpunished. >> here's my question for every member of congress and every member of the global community.
what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to dmeth plain sight and pay no price? make no mistake, has implications beyond chemical war fair. if we won't enforce accountability in this heinous act what does it sap to other members who do this? the governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? the terrorists who would spread biological weapons? >> we should tell you, any possible strike could still be days, maybe even weeks, away. the president wants congress to okay it. many on the hill already reacting tonight. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says, "in part the president's role at commander in chief is always strengthened when enjoying the express support of the congress." all of this coming as the white house and top military intelligence leaders brief, including proof assad regime
used chemical weapons on its own people. congress votes dune strike, the president said he still has the authority to conduct military action anyway. there's a lot to get to tonight. fox team coverage begins with chief white house correspondent ed henry, who is live on the north lawn. ed, you're getting new details about how the president came to his decision? >> reporter: yes, good evening. this really was a stunning reversal. for days, white house officials said they would consult with congress through these conference calls you mentioned, but not actually get a vote in congress to authorize it. then secretary of state john kerry yesterday went out there, after the president, we're told, had privately decided he did want to move forward with u.s. military action, john kerry went out far on a limb yesterday saying there needs to be accountability. then we're told about 6:00 p.m. last night, the president went out for a 45-minute walk on the south lawn of the white house. the other side of the building from where i am standing now with chief of staff denis mcdonough and floated the idea he thinks it would be better to
go to congress, get a debate in the house of senate and get authorization from both chambers before the president moved forward with unilateral action. we're told there was division, controversy. the president went the in to a two-hour oval office meeting with aides. some thinking this was a bad idea nap congress might vote this down. congress out on recess, not even back to worth until september 9th. there's going to be more delay. although the president in the rose garden insisted he's intent on holding assad accountable. take a listen. >> -- endangers our friends and partners along syria's borders including israel, jordan, turkey, lebanon and iraq. it could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons or proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm. in a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted. >> a menace that must be confronted, but not yet. shortly after the president and vice president were in the rose garden, you see them there
together, they left and went out golfing together. here they are with all of this urgent sir throughout about holding assad accountable. went golfing because there is time here now, because the president is clearly not moving forward on this military action. until he figures out when congress will get back to work. start debating it. that could take time there. >> time for golf, ed henry. let's talk timetable now on capitol hill. i heard you mention september 9th. even if congress voted this down, the president might move forward on his own anyway? >> reporter: very interesting. the president you know will be in sweden next week and then in russia for the g-20 summit. doesn't get back until next friday. so almost a week away, and then you're right. congress, both chambers come back to work september 9th. they won't debate immediately. take at least a couple of days to get that going. then we'll see what happens. the speaker boehner on the phone today. informing he he wanted to do this.
boehner's office saying he's all for it but not committing to actually supporting him. look at this statement from the republican leadership team, bane rer and some fellow republicans saying, we're glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in response to syria. substantive questions raised, we expect the house to consider a measure the week of september 9th. this provides the president time to make his case to congress, and the american people. you note they say, consider a measure. not pass a measure. they're not committed to actually authorizing this force. though senior officials here say even if congress votes it down, the president does have the power, they believe, the executive power, to move moerd unilaterally. amp what happened in the british parliament, voted down on capitol hill as well, going to be hard for the president without that support to move forward. >> well, ed, i look at the calendar and study what you say. they usual buy donly don't do t extremely fast. looking at the end of september. ed henry, thanks.
ed told us briefings and preparations are continuing on the hill. pieces in place to carry out the strikes against syria at a moment's notice. six american warships now in range in the eastern mediterranean. five capable of launching cruise missiles another, an amphibious warship with reportedly more than 2,000 marines onboard. jennifer griffin is at the pentagon live for us tonight. jennifer, you can give the reaction that the pentagon is having. >> reporter: that's right. there are 300 marines onboard that amphibious ship but a lot of head scratching and surprise at the pentagon over the confusion created in the last 24 hours. after hearing secretary kerry, secretary john kerry speak yesterday, the pentagon thought the mission was a go. >> and it matters deeply to the credible in the future interests of the united states of america and our allies. it matters, because a lot of other countries whose policy is
challenged these international norms are watching. they are watching. they want to see whether the united states and our friends mean what we say. >> apparently not. defense secretary hague p spokesman george little tweeted the following. "support decision on congressional authorization for use of force in syria. agrees we cannot turn blind eye to syrian, cw, chemical weapons use, already there are indications that assad is moving around the delivery systems for those chemical weapons. he will be hiding them in civilian areas. they are mobile. it is going to make targeting very difficult in the next ten days when a decision is finally taken. >> that brings me to my next question for you, jennifer. talking about targeting become more difficult. the effectiveness of any eventual strike. how will this delay in terms of what the speng saying actually affect that? >> well, i'm told from pentagon
officials it will make it more complex but is still manageable. especially since the scope of the mission was limited anyway. we have a statement from the chairman of the joint chiefs spokesman colonel ed who says, "we continue to refine our targeting based on the most recent intelligence, and the chairman assured the president that we would have appropriate targeting options ready when he calls for them." >> our military positioned assets in the region. the chairman of the joint chiefs informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. moreover, the chairman indicated to me our capacity to execute this submission not time sensitive. it will be affective tomorrow or next week or one month from now. and i'm prepared to give that order. >> reporter: not before congress returns on september 9th. >> we appreciate you helping us to get our appointment numbers correct in the recent jennifer
griffin, thank you very much. we're getting new information from inside syria now, the assad regime and syrian state television claiming victory saying the u.s. will not strike them. there are even reports of a street parties going on in the capital city of damascus. live in the newsroom, leland vittert. >> reporter: the word stunning probably doesn't go far enough to describe the shock in all the capitals around the middle east when hearing president obama's word, probably the most surprised of all, the syrians themselves. state tv went on, first people were out in the streets interviewing damascus residents who said that no one is going to come attack, and one said, we're not going to be afraid. we want people who are afraid to go to israel. at the same time the syrian deputy prime minister went on television and said in an interview that the americans have lost the battle even before it started. his other words, the american
administration has made a joke out of itself. certainly very harsh words there from the syrians who are now claiming victory. there's a feeling here and around the reach than president obama, president assad, were eye-to-eye, and president obama has blinked, according to one analyst here, in israel, at least who is watching this intently as president assad has promised that the retaliation for american strikes would be against the jewish state. the analysts here says, i think obama has no desire to act. and obviously here in the middle east, things are a little different than in washington. what one says has to match what one does, in that issue of credibility and competence certainly goes to the very core of being able to have an effective policy in the middle east. a lot of folks are now questioning whether president obama has that ability going forward. >> leland, we're looking now, you're inside jerusalem now. you're in israel. our key ally in that region.
daying ago they were donning gas masks, getting ready for what they thought we might do. how are they reacting tonight? >> reporter: well, there's really a larger question here in terms of israel, because not only is the issue of whether or not people ask the the kind of language president obama used in the past to talk about the iranian nuclear program he alluded to it today. red line language. do not do this. iranians will not be allowed to get a nuclear bomb. something the israelis put in calculus in terms of whether to strike. now that this hasn't happened after a syrian crossing of the line, one person says, it's a matter of competence. continuing, he said, to the countries in the middle east, president obama seemed incapable of taking action. that in a difficult way, president obama wants to come back to israel and talk about
what to do about the iranian nuclear problem. back to you. >> leland, while you've been talking i've been taking notes on how many times you have spoken negatively from people in that part of the world about not just this administration, but about the nation that we are here in america. and the credibility that we carry now. we'll talk about it with some of our guests later this hour and we appreciate the report from jerusalem. leland, thank you. right now, as we said, u.s. warships are positioned in the mediterranean ready to strike syria if called in to do that. what is exactly in the u.s. arsenal? and what would a strike look like? we have it all covered tonight on the special two-hour edition of "fox reports." stay close. [ male announcer ] these days, a small business can save by sharing. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah.
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in a world with many dangers, this must be confronted. i have decided that the united states should take military action against syrian regime targets. >> and then the "but" came. he's going to wait for congress to give him the authorization when they come back after september 9th. that is, unless they call themselves back early. moments ago our jennifer griffin was reporting in detail of the military capabilities with regards to syria, should we make a move. six ships in the region. five destroyers and an amphibious assault ship all capability of carrying out the targeted operations the pentagon says it's looking for joining me now, retired army major general bossdale. thank you for joining us. >> hi, harris. >> you have been to war. what happens when you lose the element of surprise? >> you know, that's a great question. in warfare, your most precious commodity is time and the initiative. whoever controls the clock and
controls the pace of the maneuvers is the one who ultimately will win. when you take a ten-day or 12-day holiday, that passes the initiative and passes the clock over to the enemy. remember, our ability to strike in ten days will be no different than it is now, but at the end of the day, harris, the enemy that a vote and now more time to hide his resources. to fix his broken warplanes and flight them to sanctuary, perhaps in iran. to break open its chemical weapons bunkers and distribute those munitions throughout civilian neighborhoodsto move his people around, to empty out his headquarters and the ministry of defense, and his radar sites, and dismant many equipment and move it into hiding. so every day that goes by, the enemy becomes more disbursed, better camouflage, better distributed among the people and far, far more difficult, to hit particularly by cruise missiles targeted against fixed sites and
take a fairly long time to aim and shoot, harris. >> general, tell me a little about the voice of at the table for the president. i would have imagineded they was told all this and britain, their parliament took a vote. he probably should take one, too, and bring in congress. the military guys will tell him what? >> boy, that's a great question, and the information that i have from the pentagon and from my friends in uniform is, they were all along, almost universally opposed to this course of action. their recommendations were either don't go or go all-in. but don't settle on pinpricks as we've learned in africa and somalia in the early days and afghanistan and in libya in the '80s, any time you just sort of poke the hhornets necessary, an
don't destroy it, they come back and sting you. >> a p.r. agent is giving on-the-record statements saying they're not happy about this delay because it hurts them. my first question about that is, how does it hurt them? second of all, i didn't know it was our mission to help them. >> well, here's the deal. soldiers in the free syrian army are in it mainly to take care of their families and to be on the right side when all of this ends, and if they get an impression from what's happening now that maybe they're on the wrong side, or they're is a are the positiving te insupporting wrong side, delays like this and apparent hesitancy of the president to go to war and all of this joy and dancing in the streets of damascus sends a signal to the people we're trying to help that maybe the united states is not all-in and maybe they ought to be seeking new alternatives and that over the long term can't be anything but disastrous for our syrian
friends. >> five destroyers, am amphibious ship in the region for a different reason other than syria but nones les all positioned in the area. what does this tell you what we're capable of or what a strike myself look like? -- might look like? >> who knows, harris. more may arrive to thicken our response, but what it says, a ten-day delay isn't going to harm our ability to strike. had fmay degrade our ability to target. those ships are fine. if they have to duck into a for the refuel and reprovision, that's going to go on fine. the striking end of it is fine. the real problem, i think we all have, and particularly people at the pentagon have, is the strike part. what are the -- what's the enemy doing right now? what will be his response? so far, at least, harris, that's unknown. >> general, i'll ask you to sis by. the president just sent a letter toening could, we're told.
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up the timeline, congress is not due back until september 9th. however, the president is, would go this saturday night and a letter just sent the speaker and we are getting the context. dear mr. speaker, i transmit here wir the attached draft legislation regarding authorization for the use of the united states armed forces in connection with the conflict in syria. sincerely, barack obama. and then it goes on, i won't read all of this, but now activity coming out of the white house to get this whole thing
going. again, ed henry told us at the top of the hour that the working bed deadline we're working with in terms of congress reconvening is september 9th. they could come back early. we haven't seen that since 2005. but it could happen, and we'll talk more about this as the hour goes on, but the president now reaching out in this letter form with his draft legislation of what it would look like. probably enumerating, were e don't know because we don't have the whole text yet, emumerating what exactly he would like to see in terms of the military strike on syria with regard to the chemical weapons use again its citizens. bring back the retired army major general bob scales. fox news military analyst back from the commercial. we appreciate your time, sir. first your thoughts on what's transpired here. >> well, i think the talk has started. the problem is, congress is not going to be called back early. so the military clock won't start until the 9th. but isn't is interesting that
the strike may, by happenstance, occur on september 11th. wouldn't that be a -- sort of thing. think about it, and think what the enemy may very well use symbolically that date as a means of retaliating against us. so as they say, if you tried to make a movie out of this, nobody would accept is the script, harris. >> wow. general scales, very candid. some of the criticism on the hill has been over tight budgets and how expensive for taxpayers something like this could be. can you ballpark it for us? >> yeah. let's just do the math. we fired 221 against libya a couple years ago. this strike will go in at something north of 200. fired from six ship. each one of those is $1.5 million a pop. the tip of the iceberg. electronics sensors, overhead, photo reconnaissance going in. special forces, cia surrounding the area. a huge logistical tail
supporting this. add it all up and total costs probably something well north of half a billion. >> wow. and the pentagon has got to come up with that cash at a time when you laymakers come back, they have to talk about the deficit. they've got to talk about changing laws for the nsa and so on. a lot on their plates and now syria for the month of september. before i let you know, general, senator johnny isakson, a republican in georgia said this -- if we fail to take action against syria for his horrendous act then we are sending a signal to syria as well as to iran and north korea that they are accountable to no one. your thoughts? >> well, i got that, but if we're going to be hesitant, if the response is going to be a pinpick, if the syrians come back to this with assad in a stronger position, particularly in the eyes of his regional neighbors, if the syrian army and air force is not really damaged, and immediately starts, restarts the war and starts
killing civilians at a higher rate, then the rest of the world is going to look at us and say, okay, america. what do you do next? and if we hesitate a second time, the net result of all of this may be worse than simply doing nothing, harris. >> general scales. a pleasure to you have this evening in pe spe evening. your perspective always appreciated. >> thank you, harris. the commander in cheer -- >> the use of force from the american people's representatives in congress. >> and i'll go on now. the commander in chief hitting the tone with some members of congress who say his words and tone were right. others don't agree. a decision republican senator rand paul today says he's encouraged about hearing from the president. we'll talk with senator paul, live. that's next. [ dog ] we found it together.
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and welcome back. if you're just joinings, this is a special two-hour edition of the "fox report" on the crisis in sear dia. i'm harris faulkner. the president is going to wait on taking military action against syria. waiting for congress' authorization. the u.s. can strike syria at any moment, he says.
>> chairman of the joint chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever they choose. however, the chairman indicated to me our capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive. it will be affective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. and i'm prepared to give that order. >> so what will congress do? joining us by phone, rand paul. thank you. >> glad to be with you. >> did the president say what you wanted to hear today? >> i'm going to say something some people may be surprised by, but i'm proud of president obama, and i don't say that lightly. i've been a fierce critic of the president, but i'm proud of him today for obeying the constitution, and getting congressional authority to go to war. i still disagree with him, on whether were e should go to war in syria and will vote against dragging us into a syrian civil
war but am proud of him for following the constitution and saying the president doesn't have unilateral authority. congress has the authority and he's going to seek it. >> i read you told this president how you feel about syria. do you think any of these conversations, or point to something, that would have gotten him to the point where he would say, i'm going to go to congress first. >> me and 80% of the public telling all representatives they want congress to vote on this. this is the way it was intended to be. james madison wrote in the federalist papers, the executive of the branch is most froen go to war. therefore, we gave the power to congress. the constitution invested that power in congress to have checks and balances. to slow things down. let emotions die down and a have a significant debate over whether or not they are national security interests, whether it's good for the country. my problem with involving
ourselves in a civil war, i'm not sure it will be good for america, american lives or american bombs getting involved in a syrian civil war where i'm not sure either will be good for america. >> i hear your concern there, and i know how politics can happen in washington. so in the end, how will you vote on syria? >> unless they can overcome two ironies, i couldn't vote to involve us. the first irony, about 2 million christians, on the other side of the war. sow side aassad and al qaeda on the side of the islamic rebels. i can't see us fighting against christians on the other side. two great ironies difficult for me to overcome and there's going to have to be a lot of explaining for moo e to chane t position. >> what do you think will happen in the senate with the vote? >> the senate tends to be more, i think, let's just say the best way to say this is less
reluctance to go to war isn't the best way to put it, but the house is, i guess, a better barometer of the people and the grass roots. the house vote will be very close, and i think there's a chance it doesn't win in the house, and i would like to see what happened in the british parliament happen in the united states, and that is that the people of the representatives say, enough's a enough. we're not ready for another war. there is no clear-cut ally for america in this war and we're going to not -- we're not going to get involved. i think the rubber stamp it, what the president wants. but i think the house is another question. >> senator paul, if we see the house and senate, either one vote it down, can you stop the president from acting unilaterally? >> the great thing about it is that he's acknowledging and when he ran as a candidate in 2007, 2008, both he and joe biden said specifically that no president can unilaterally go to war
without congressional authority. today he tempered his words some and said, well, i've got the authority to do whatever i want, but i'm choosing to go to congress. well i don't see it that way. i don't believe he does have the authority, but presidents have in the past usurped this authority. the bottom line is, once he comes to congress, if it's voted down in congress, i believe that he will be stopped. i will do everything in my power to stop and to have the vote go against involves us in syria. the ram factiifications may be r america, bad for israel. i think there are a lot of things that could wind up happening in the middle east with our involvement that would be unintended and may make the situation worse. >> before i let you go, september was already a very crowded month for all of the things you have to do, just to kick them down. debt ceiling, farm bill, the nsa and the ever-looming implementation of obamacare and now syria on top of that. how will that impact what you have to do come september 9th?
>> nothing's more important than making the decision whether to send young men and women to war, and i think this trumps all over issues and it is incredibly important we have a free and open debate in congress before we get involved in another war. so we have a lot important things coming up. they'll all get accomplished, but i think a meaningful debate on whether or not we send men and women to warp is very important for our country. >> any chance you'd come back early to washington for this? >> you know, there is talk of that already, and i've had rumors from my staff about something some committee hearings this week and some different briefings. i had briefings today by phone. we'll see. i don't know what the conclusion of that will be. >> senator rand paul of kentucky. appreciate your time this evening and your thoughts as we head toward now what will be a vote in congress to see if this president will take action against syria. thank you, sir. >> thank you. well, my question tonight for our next guest, who are our
friends, real friends? no frenemies? in the middle east. the kind who would do more than talk but actually commit their military to help. do we have any of those? dr. wall wallsy a anti-terroris professor. are there any allies who would stand with us with the proverbial gun in hand? >> well, basically, no. sadly i think to say. and israel has a partnership with regard to terrorism, but israel in this case is not involving itself in the appearance of a war or in what happens in egypt, and we see that the israelis are very careful about that. turkey is a member of nato, but turkey is taking sides in the syria civil war. so apart from these two forces we have to look at civil society. in syria and the other countries. speaking of syria, people here
in washington are talking about, either al qaeda or atta. and we have no business with both. people toned remember there are millions of syrias who are neither with syria or atta. the minority such as the kurds, christians, jews. or in syria, the moderates. we need to reshuffle our policy in syria, look at the partners and i hope the congressional hearing will bring about these facts. >> doctor, we have to do a gut check with you right now, because our reporter earlier in the hour from jerusalem and he paint add very negative picture about how we're looked upon in the world. particularly following this president's decision today to back off his red line comments and seek thorpgs and not do what he said he'd do. how is america viewed in the arab world? >> that's a wonderful question. let me make a big distinction for our viewers. there's a difference between those who want our values, meaning democracy, secular
liberal body and those who look at american foreign policy. a big difference. the 33 million egyptians who demonstrated on june the 30th and again on july 26th against a muslim brotherhood, against jihadism and for democracy, not all like our foreign policy. actually, they dislike the obama foreign policy and are not sure with regard to this position. you may have people in the middle east pushing back against our foes, against totalitarian but could decide what we're doing or not doing and now in syria i can tell you and gashtd guarantee you, i've been living to the statements. those in op setiposition are lo at one that does not want to get involved despite we are making good statements about the gassing and killings but we're not committing to action in syria. >> not a lot was said from arab nations when the president issued that so-called red line on the chemical weapons attack. did i miss something or were those country absent on this
issue? >> i don't know that, missed in the translation. when i go on arab media, you have saudi arabia, jordan, the uae, kuwait and many other countries who have been asking us, asking the administration for now three years, take action on syria. and because we have not taken any action on syria, we have not been able to form this coalition then. and now on egypt, egypt was our ally but we prepared to be in the muslim brotherhood. so they are very nervous, and secular egypt, very nervous. so our architecture, harris, in the reach be has, the result of it was we are losing our good allies. unfortunately. >> the president goes to russia for the g-20 summit next week. who should he be putting pressure on, doctor? >> i think he should be talking to the russians very clearly. he should, on the one hand, form that coalition. on the other hand, he should be also talking to the syrians themselves. he should have, for the syrian armed forces. >> now in the west, national
meeting, tell the russians, look, if you are going to copt with this policy of support to assad, first of all, asad added iranians are not good news for the international community. seshgd, you are going to be responsible for the growth of al qaeda. let president obama and the russians at least have a common ground against al qaeda. and that would be a way to bring the russians to put pressure on assad. i really wonter about the architecture with regard to syria. >> one last question, quickly. what happens if we do nothing? >> if we do nothing, syria will go more radek's, harden the opposition, get more weapons and al qaeda will make more progress. it would be bad news if we don't do anything. >> doctor, with your perspective, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, today the president told americans and the world that a possible attack on syria is not a time's sensitive mission, but that does not appear to be the assessment late out yet by his secretary of state john kerry. there's a huge difference in the
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sna majority harry reid issue aing this statement with regard to syria and the timeline now that the president is saying he wants to wait on congress to tell them whether or not he has the authority to attack the assad regime base and kel chemical weapons use they say they have use of. senator reid says, the senate will vote op the resolution no later than the week of as reque administration. we're getting the idea they will sit tight for the september 9th date when congress is set to reconvene. so we'll delay, but maybe not weeks. we'll see. joining me now is bob kuzak, managing editor from the hill.
you've had a chance to look now, bob, at what the president is asking for in a draft legislation i told viewers about ten minutes ago. what does it say? >> it gives the president flexibility of what kind of military operation he could seek. it does not say exactly how they would strike and trying to basically convince congress this is not going to be boots on the ground, open-ended. it asks are to the authority but also gives the president the ability to decide what the military conflict is. whether it's cruise missiles. it's not a long resolution. the issue is which senator will take it up? i imagine senator menendez in the upper chamber. the house is tricky. rand paul said it might not pass the house. the white house has toic ta the resolution and find a republican, because the house issal kroed by republicans, got to find a republican, because you can't just have a democrat off of that in a chambers that's controlled by the gop. >> who in the house do you think that republican would be?
>> you know, first off you've got to think of smug like peter king. republican out of new york. former homeland security chairman. leez been critical of the president. also thinking about a white house bid in 2016. maybe he's not the perfect candidate, but if you look at other republican leaders, if you look at buck mckean. the armed services committee chairman. ed royce, another committee chairman in the house, somewhat lukewarm about what the president did today. not endorsed any resolution and you have otheristic iffal fights. if president obama can fought get this through congress it's going to weaken him significantly. i think president obama might have to address congress the week of the 9th to make the case that, to both congress and the american people. >> do you see this president acting on his own? if he does not get the go-ahead from congress? t. i think that's going to be awfully tough. the only -- the only way i could see him doing that is if there is a another chemical attack. that would be a ct if aer here. what if there's another chemical
attack between's now and september 9th? so i don't think politically that he would be able to do that, if one of the houses or both houses of congress reject the measure. >> you know, let's talk about the timing quickly before we have to move on here to the next topic. the timing of this. general scales earlier on the program mentioned september 11th is also during that week, that they are voting on this. >> yes, yes. and i think it's interesting that the president today was making the case, both emotionally that there were children killed in this alleged chemical attack, but as well i think he's got to make the case that this is going toic ma the united states safer, and i think that's a hard argument to make. he acknowledged today in the rose garden that this country is war weary because of afghanistan and iraq and the fact that the vote could come on 9/11 is fascinating. i don't know if that's going to get him more votes, though. >> bob kuzak, sit tight.
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our continuing coverage now on the crisis in syria, and what america might do. congress set to consider the matter, woerther it will give authorization to the president. managing editor for the hill to finish our conversation. the politics of this, you know, i'm reading howing shoulded lawmakers were that the president did this, and i understand the reverberations of that around the world, were ut these are people who know him. >> that's right. and served with him in congress. one of the things that was so shocking, the strike was going to be imminent. it was going to happen a couple days ago and we certainly saw that rhetoric from senator john
kerry, and you had a lot of concern around the world that it was going to be any moment, and then all of a sudden, president obama shifted. i think part of that was pressure in congress. pressure from both the right and the left. there were a couple letters about 200 lawmakers basically telling president obama, you can't do this. you have to come to congress. so the president is taking a gamble, though, because he thinks he can get this through the house and senate, and you know, harris, not much passes congress. this would be the exception to the rule. >> you know, what is it to say about the relationship? you talk about the urgency. we saw secretary of state john kerry yesterday. i mean, it's going to happen. it's going to happen. then the president today saying, well, i'd like for it to happen but it's not until congress votes and blah, blah, blah. what does that tell you about their relationship? >> well, it is striking. the difference between statements from kerry as well as obama. i mean, kerry's a former chairman of the foreign relations committee. he's going to go his own way. i think that the president
trusts him, but the rhetoric from both men has been strikingly different. kerry has been very, very forceful, raised eyebrows on capitol hill. president obama backtracked now and throughout the last couple of days stressed i haven't made a decision. then today he made the decision to go to congress. and that's what was so shocking. he didn't exactly call for congress to come back early. though i know you're reporting that the congress, at least the senate, is probably going to do stuff next week. hearing, but the vote still probably the week of the 9th. >> and senator rand paul of kentucky told us on this very prom a short time ago he's hearings the rumbling of that, but nothing said. bob kuzak, managing editor for the hill helping navigate some of what's breakings they hour. appreciate it. thank you. >> thanks, harris. we heard from capitol hill. we'll go next to the state department.
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