First on CNN: Russians turned down, again
September 5th, 2013
05:28 PM ET
5 years 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. MH

    Look where Bush put us... it isn't Obama alone it is both the parties bucking each other. Bush put us in a costly war and for what ? So don't point fingers at only Obama. This has been going on way before Obama came into office..We need to go by the rules/laws of the UN and stand united. FYI I like Reid and always have he is better then most and not as full of BS as most.. Stop listening to FOX, NBC CBS etc.. they only tell you what the Government and the Big Corporations what us to hear...

    September 5, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Name

    Bomb the dictator, bomb the idiot Asad

    September 5, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. vikko

    No matter what proof is presented to the Russians, they will not abandon support for Assad... they have a vested interest in keeping him in power. It's ridiculous of the Russians (and the UK parliament for that matter) to demand additional proof that chemical weapons were used in the first place when even the Syrians agree that they were. The only thing up for debate is WHO used them, not IF they were used. For the first time EVER, I applaud Harry Reid's decision to not meet with them. We can debate all we want internally, but to the outside world we need to present a single united American voice.

    September 5, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. April

    Refuses to listen –like a teenager that doesn't want to hear the truth about their bad news friend–slams the door on parents because he already knows the truth!

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

    w this is john Kerry job good job harry and john lets spent our time working on the budget lets take care of the America people for a change what going to change over there wake up you me in Washington these people want to kill us . I like john king and wolf b you do a good job so will you tell these guys lets get this budget fix then woory about syria

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

    The administration's plan for peace in the Middle East is shallow and pedantic.

    September 5, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. The_dude

    Yes because it is much harder to lie in person

    September 5, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. rosethornne

    How very mature and statespersonlike.


    September 5, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Harin

    I am surprised both Boehner and Reid both turned down the Russians. It is the right thing to do though. We cannot allow foreign governments to influence our national politics. The President's office is the only branch of government that has the authority to handle foreign relations. Allowing foreign governments to go behind the President in an obvious attempt to undermine his authority and would be the same as aiding that country is subverting our national foreign policies.

    I did not vote for Obama and, frankly, think he started off with a horribly naive view of foreign relations that matured into general ineptness. Still, he won the election and it is his office that runs our foreign policy. My hat is off to Boehner and Reid for not allowing the corruption of foreign influence to enter our Congress.

    September 5, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. tom l

    I'd like to make the obvious assumption that back in the day Sniffit was yelling the loudest about being against Iraq due to a lack of a true coalition. Does anybody think I'm wrong about that?

    What's so funny is that he probably has nowhere near the same tone with regards to Syria yet we have no coalition whatsoever. The only country that supports action is France. So funny to see people like Sniffit twist and turn in every way possible to support the president. He would never admit to Obama's "red line" comment fiasco.

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

    For all the people sayiing we dont need to get involved with Syria I have thiid to say...lets suppose it was our president/government using chemical weapons on us, would you desperatly want someone to help?!? Its easy to be an armchair quarterback in these threads but I guarantee if it was reversed you would be screaming help!!

    September 5, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. Fed Up With Our "Leadership"

    The people of Syria die while Reid and Boehner play politics.

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

    To meet them is to undercut and discredit our president, that will eventually put the America creditability on the line and hurt our leading role in international affair and in terms, the american interest. What thye try to do is mainly slap the face of our president using our own hands...

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

    We never should turn down diplomacy.
    Always has to remain open. !!

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

    @ Jon:

    1. What decision was it that the president made exactly? The fact that he decided to decide not to act after he sent in his secretary of state the day before to make a case of attacking Syria? This is not "going around" the president. This is trying to find any means of communication possible in order to avoid or lessen any further conflict.

    2. "Syria used Sarin gas and killed a lot of their own civilians" Where's YOUR proof of this? We're all waiting for our government to show theirs....and MAYBE....Just maybe, that's why the Russians are trying so far to meet with our congressional leaders – REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS.

    September 5, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Derrick Yu

    The American pride! Utterly pukeworthy!

    September 5, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. Bubba rydel

    I support America and our leaders. I love and respect Israel. Couldn't care less what Muslims think about it.

    September 5, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. silas

    they need to bring in Rodman

    September 5, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Thomas

    I always knew Reid was a louse, but this is the time for diplomacy to get to work.

    Reid turning down the Russians is a slap in the face to diplomacy.

    "When in doubt, don't send missiles out."

    Rand Paul 2016.


    The Russians motive is not diplomacy , it's a power play to divide . These are the same people that wont extradite Edward Snowden . There only purpose is to continue to have Syria as customer and ally . And by not going through normal channels they divide and diminish . They could have done more then use there UN veto to bring diplomacy and a solution , they did not , nor did China . China and Russia wont take refugees !

    As for the Aqua Buddha 2016 , why not Michele Bachmann or Donald Duck ?

    September 5, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Landersi

    The present and future status of Syria is determined by opinions posted in social media. Opinions based upon pictures of Syrian chemical attacks, attacks by Syrian government on rebels, Syrian rebels killing Syrian government soldiers, collateral damage is either death or displacement in Turkey or Jordan. What I know (gut, intellectually, experience of living in Riyadh, KSA for almost ten years ) is that Assad will protect his family (religious sect) and he will destroy any emerging democracy.

    September 5, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  21. Dan2116

    It is crazy to ignore Moscow. Imagine if someway we could be on the same page. I think that would change the world for the better. I sometimes agree with Putin. We need to be more open to their input. If we remain so closed minded we will meet our match soon. Wake up and quit being babies because we don't agree on everything. It's very childish!

    September 5, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. Jack Nemo

    Kerry and Obama have said they want a negotiated solution, so it is foolish to deny the Russians the opportunity to begin that process. Makes us wonder if there is really proof of who did the gas attack and is Obama's rhetoric just political theater.

    September 5, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. John Cartwright

    Another example of not representing the American people.

    September 5, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. Okolimo Peter

    fighting is not the solution. who is not seing what is happening in iraq $ libya? is that what america want?

    September 5, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Jack

    Regardless of the right or wrong of US intervention in Syria, it is inapprorpriate for legislators to be seen to be conducting foreign policy. Like him or not, that is why we have a president. Kudos to Reid and to Boehmer. It's kind of like a kid asking Mommy becasue Daddy won't do give him what he wnats. Russians go home.

    September 5, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
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