First on CNN: Russians turned down, again
September 5th, 2013
05:28 PM ET
1 year ago

First on CNN: Russians turned down, again

Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has turned down a Russian request to meet with him to discuss Syria, his office tells CNN, making it unclear if any U.S. lawmakers will sit down with a planned delegation from Moscow.

This comes less than a day after House Speaker John Boehner similarly turned down a request from the Russian government to meet.

A spokesman for the Russian embassy would not comment on the declined requests. “We are still working on the visit,” Maxim Abramov told CNN.

The rebuffed requests come as President Obama is meeting with G-20 leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in St. Petersburg. Russian leaders have been outspoken in opposition to U.S. military action in Syria and said that they planned to try to lobby against the mission by directly meeting with members of the U.S. Congress.

But so far, no U.S. lawmakers have indicated that they will meet with them when they arrive.


Filed under: Congress • Syria
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Bill

    This was the proper thing to do. Regardless of whether you believe the US should strike Syria, we have a Secretary of State and a President who are tasked with running diplomatic efforts. Trying to go around our leaders to lobby our Congress is wrong on many levels. Our country needs to stand united in this situation and our process is already in place.

    That being said, I do not want the US to strike Syria without International backing

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. boseman

    All the comments calling Obama and the Dems arrogant and warmongers – did you say the same when Boehner turned down the Russians? Or when we went to war on falsified info during the Bush administration? If so way to stick to your "guns." Unfortunately, though, most of us base our opinion on who's in office, not on who we truly are and how we feel.

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Tim

    It is official. No one wants to work with Obama.

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Hmmmmmm

    I agree with @FrankinSD. The President decides the foreign policy re war after coming to both Houses of Congress so the Russians should be meeting with him and if he says no, then they should not come. The Russians are only looking out for their trade with Syria, and aren't worried about the use of Sarin gas on people – on children for heaven's sake!! I think that if the US wants to be the worlds superpower, then you need to do what's right – go after Asad!!

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. tet1953

    Ok, they don't want to meet with the Russians. I can understand that. But this is more about announcing that they won't meet with the Russians than not meeting with the Russians. They came all this way, and to very publicly rebuff them like that is unnecessary. Why not just quietly tell them no? This doesn't help.

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. Demigod Vadik, CA

    There are consequences to granting asylum to a US traitor...

    ...and Russia is paying for that now...

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  7. Rami

    What? Did you trade places? Now Dem. want war.

    September 5, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. James

    Just an FYI the last time we didn't listen to the Russians. Boston was bombed. If they have intel we could use then let's hear it.

    September 5, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Fish

    It appears our illustrious leaders have forgotten who they work for once again. It never hurts to talk even if we disagree with the discussion or the people holding it. This is simply arrogance which I hope the President is not a part. We can't afford to be isolationists!!!!

    September 5, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Nothing would convince russia. Absolutely nothing, not even a "smoking gun"

    September 5, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. JustAnotherVoter

    Come on Harry. The least you can do is listen to what they have to say. The worst thing anyone can do during any crisis, be it personal or professional, is to stop communicating.

    September 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Lvsam

    We should ignore both Russia and Syria.

    September 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. urouttolunch

    @kitty hogan. Mr. Reid is completely conforming to your wishes. It is entirely appropriate that responsible members of the legislative branch decline to meet with a Russian delegation at this time, on this subject. I hadn't heard about Mr. Boehner, but – for once – I applaud him. The Executive Branch is responsible for international relations. That is why we have a State Department. There is no de facto harm in members of of the legislative branch meeting with foreign delegations on relatively non-controversial matters, but these requests from Russia are an obvious attempt to create dissension within the US political structure, and we can do that on our own, thank you. I do not favor a unilateral US military action against Syria. If the EU, NATO, the Arab League, or some other international coalition wants to propose something in which we are not just the point of the spear, I'm willing to think about it. The use of chemical weapons is disturbing, and the international community would have to bring the hammer down hard on any cross-border use. But for now, why is the US the only enforcer?

    September 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Leo

    Very strange... Congressmen are afraid to meet with Russian parliamentarians ?

    September 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. DC

    ummm....how does anyone know Syria used sarin gas?....plenty of information out there that suggest there MAY other reasons why this happened. Any sensible person would act on facts not assumptions.
    Too much to risk here.

    September 5, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Brian

    @Jon, But when Pelosi went behind GWB's back when he was POTUS it was ok (she went around GWB against his explicit request not to and met with Assad)?

    September 5, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. miami

    Oh wait did puttin try to run us maybe he dont remenber After God we are super power in the world .please some body tell this soviet we dont run by them ..we the unite sate make our own rules.

    September 5, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Jay

    Talk about hypocrisy ! Can you remotely imagine the medias reaction (and Obamas, Reid, Pelosi's, Schumers, Kerrys) if Bush's Administration had done this ? Frankly, I don't care what Boehner does either because he is a career political hack as well.

    September 5, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. What is wrong

    I dont understand you people. You are the type of people that would watch a bully abuse a bunch of little kids and do nothing, or snap pictures with your phone. Your type are the kind that would do nothing as Hitler killed millions. We have an obligation to the human race that when we see someone that is willing to gas women and children, drop bombs, and torcher his own people to do something. Usually there is only one person that stands up to a bully not the many and as usual it is us. That is what makes the USA the USA. Please dont say we dont have proof because we do, and dont say Russia wants diplomacy because they dont. For two and a half years they have tried diplomacy and the results are over 110K people dead most of them women and children. I dont care what happens after ASSAD is gone we will do what is right when that situation presents itself for now the right thing to do is remove this butcher and weaken the ties Syria has with Iran, Russia, and Hezzballah.

    September 5, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. TomGI

    They should call Ted Cruz. He'll would eagerly negotiate with them.

    September 5, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Mike

    Sarin gas poisoning – Staged story but totally amateur. I guess they are checking are we stupid enough to believe or should they continue the brain wash. If they at least appreciate the common sense or the minimum of our intelligence they would hire someone from Hollywood and make the sarin poisoning pre-text the professional story.

    September 5, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  22. Pat Dunn

    I am glad he turned them down. How dare the Russians ask for anything after refusing to send the traitor that was leaking information back when we asked. They are not our friends, never will be never were..All Putin cares about is his new arm csndy, divorcing his wife of many years...that

    September 5, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. C

    Dont trust Russians. Good call.

    September 5, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. Bill

    Flush the bombers.

    September 5, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Beni

    Go to Russia and try to discuss an issue with the opposition party and see what happens. This was wrong on the Russian side to try and sideline the President. Putin is on the wrong side of history... Dead gassed people in his face, gays outlawed, demonstrators jailed, this guy is no one...

    September 5, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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