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. tim

    That would be called Diplomacy! But what to heck. The USA is well past anything like. Makes me proud..Bomb those women and children. That wiil show the world we mean business.

    September 5, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. DCBill

    What standing does a group from Russia have to lobby our Congress on a Presidential proposal?

    It's an outlaw nation, headed by a thug, and sustained by criminal mobs. When was the last time any of us read, saw, or heard that the Russian government provided humanitarian assistance to ailing nation?

    Syria is their customer and primary butt kisser int he Middle east; that's what they fear, loss of status and markets.

    Yay on Boehner and reid..

    September 5, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. Lin

    More evidence showing how bad they want this war....sigh

    September 5, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. AnnonUSA

    This is not a surprise. Harry Reid thinks he is elite amongst his piers. He is part of the Obama – Pelosi circus that gave us the Obamacare bill that needed to be signed before anyone knew what was in it. Why should he think of discussions with anyone on anything, when he, like Nancy Pelosi knows what everyone else needs more than they do.

    September 5, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. Dom

    The congress is doing the right thing not meeting with the Russians – not because we should hit Syria but because Obama is in Russia right now and meeting with them would undermine his authority. He is the president – like it or not.

    Congress is going to vote down the strike anyway. Obama asked them to vote on it for that reason – so he can say he held up his end of the "red line" garbage but Congress decided not to act. This was actually very smart and sends an effective message to Assad that next time the US will act.

    September 5, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Dom


    This is "saber rattling" at its finest and the Russians are playing along to add more effect. Whether they know it or not. If the US was going to hit Syria it would have done it already. Of course i could be wrong... Saddam had plenty of time to get his act together before both invasions and he didn't. This time is different though – no UN support and Assad isn't standing alone like Saddam was...

    September 5, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Jayakumar

    Suddenly, I have found this long lost respect for congress. They do have self-respect after all.

    September 5, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. hola

    There is no proof. American have nothing to show. Russians do, but it does not fit the US agenda.

    September 5, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. jody

    Maybe Dennis Rodman could speak with the Russians

    September 5, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. AaronK

    I think Obama has somehow managed to force congress to take responsiblity to act, to govern. Both sides have been given a long leash over the past two decades of not taking the responsibility of governing, but to complain, whine and criticize. Both the liberals and consrveatives have been put on notice to think seriously about this issue and actually vote. That vote will stay with them for a long time. Obama has put them notice to go and think about it like grown folks.
    That is eadrship.

    September 5, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. demiane

    Reid was only protecting the president's decision(sp) Obama shouldnt dance on Putin's tunes

    September 5, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Rembrant

    @Bob Dobalina
    I'll never understand why the people of Nevada have kept this guy in office for so long.

    For the same reason the people of Minnesota have kept Michelle Bachmann in office for so long!

    September 5, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. sno

    Diplomacy failed again. And now we are wondering why we have no allies to support us. We don't want to listen opposite site. How we are supposed to work together to solve this problems. Looks like we have unilateral approach.

    September 5, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. Dennis I'm Texas

    #Assad is baby compared to #Hussein when it comes to slaughter and chemical poisoning of their own people. So why were the LIBS against the Iraq war and so adamantly need a #Syrian war.

    September 5, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Dennis I'm Texas

    I thought the Democrats wants diplomacy over war.
    Confuse in Texas

    September 5, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. Nodack

    Russia sees the gridlock in the US. They see Republicans declaring war on Obama. The Russians are Syria's biggest ally and aren't thrilled with the US plans to punish Syria. They decided to go behind Obama's back to try to deal with Congress instead. Both Reid and Boehner have told the Russians to stick it.

    For once I am proud of Congress. The Russians thought they could divide and conquer, but even when Republicans hate the Democrat President sometimes they will choose to be American over being a Republican. It gives me hope.

    September 5, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. Organic1

    I would say this is one of the smartest things our elected leaders do, turning down Russia for meetings not connected with the executive office shows dissidents within the government and we should be united in answering or discussing anything with them. Anyone thinking that is wrong, is truly cowardly and should be hiding in the bunker for the rest of their time.

    September 5, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. ted

    Am shocked Russia wants to meet after Snowden. Can't u all see? All the weapons that the regime is using against civilians are Russian made. They don't want that market to die, that's their interest in Syria, their gains. Why are they not concerned about the innocent civilians that. Died? I think the our house is in order for turning them down, if they want diplomatic anything, let's start discussing from Snowden and then the civilians in syria.

    September 5, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  19. Mrscardoso831

    I am in agreement with Jon. Harry Reid and Bohenner made the right call by not speaking with Russians behind President Obama's back. Air strikes and only air strikes then a meeting on humanitarian assistance and sanctions if any that can be applied to Assad regiem. A message needs to be sent to Assad that the world will not allow this desperate attempt by a monstrous dictator against his own ppl. Yes let the UN and US show the world more overwhelming evidence that Assad did indeed commit this crime and chemical weapons (WMD's) were used here.

    September 5, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Don

    They get turned down by a Republican – Boehner and they approached a Democrat, Seriously!!! I won't be surprised if they want to speak with Michelle next.

    September 5, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  21. tarura

    If you now expect Russians to give another hint like they did about Boston marathon bombers, keep dreaming.

    September 5, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Dewyne Douglass

    Thanks Sen. Reid send them back to Russia are better still send them to Syria.

    September 5, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Bert974

    You can always detour around the Amerikan Murderer. The most inconsequential person in USgov.

    September 5, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  24. sly

    Brilliant America – that's what we need in today's world – refusal to discuss complex issues.

    The Russian guy clearly said if the evidence of chemical attack by the Syrians is proven, he'll support military force, which is my opinion as well. "Show me the beef". Just chicken thus far. We all know Syrians died from chemical weapons. Likely, Assad did it.

    You do not bomb another country based on 'likely'.

    September 5, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Daniel

    This is from me I'm leaft heanded an I kno that the wether is under they're controll I see the air ..I will be upon the red sky and shadows will be upon me , my reality is not material and my eye is open

    September 5, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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