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. Michael Carpenter

    Hey Harry I don't see why the Russian want to Dirt.

    September 6, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  2. PoBoy

    The Senate or House has absolutely nothing to gain by talking to the Russians delegation. In case you haven't been paying attention, Russia is ruled by the dictator Putin. These delegates have zero power to make any deals or decisions. If they have so much to say, talk to the President while he's right there on their turf!

    September 6, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. homegrownterrorists

    Take your own advice and philosophy Russia, which is to stay out of the internal affairs of another nation! Where was your request for a similar meeting when your country housed and eventually granted asylum to the traitor Edward Snowden. Its time to get tough on Russia again because that is the game Putin wants to play.

    September 6, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  4. Dr. Chester Grice

    I support both congressional leaders. We do not allow any forgein government to dictate our policy or how we make decisions. This was an affront to our President and both were right in refusing to meet.

    September 6, 2013 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  5. ex-newpatient

    We cannot allow the Ruskies to come and lobby our politicians. We have enough lobbyists of our own and they pay BIG $$$$ bucks to buy our House and Senate.

    September 6, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  6. herman

    Prove to the world democracy works.

    September 6, 2013 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  7. JohnShouldRememberTheFourthofNov

    At least this president has real evidence, not like old bushy

    September 6, 2013 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  8. M.A.P.

    Obama is commander in chief, not a Russian delegation. I agree that there needs to be diplomacy and discussions, but this does sound like a lobbying attempt by the kremlin to persuade enough congressmen into voting "no". I think the US should release the information they say "proves" the regime in Syria used the chemical weapons. What was the result of the UN investigation (let me guess, "inconclusive?)?.

    September 6, 2013 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  9. will

    To interfere in Syria will become a fatal mistake for the U.S.. We strike Syria, they strike us back. Israel takes a some hits. Iran gets involved. Russia enters into the field. Along with China & North Korea. In no time, U.S. soil will be targeted. Oil prices skyrocket. Global economy crashes. The dollar falls. Your hard earned cash is worth nothing. Cant buy fuel or food. Crime breaks out and Marshall law is activated. Every nuke out there will go off. There are some real fatal consequences if we attack Syria. This isnt our fight. Not right now! If the internatonal community isnt with us, then this is one fight we'd be better off staying out of.

    September 6, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  10. Rebecca

    Of course Harry Reid will not meet with a Russian delegation that is opposed to dropping bombs in Syria... his entire career is tied to the military-industrial complex. When are people going to quit electing these monsters that require endless blood sacrifice to bolster their profit margins?

    September 6, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  11. jp

    Perhaps if the Russians coughed up traitor Edward Snowden, the U.S. might consider a discussion.

    September 6, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  12. Dan

    There are Syrian operatives posting on many boards. It looks like various organized groups have began to post comments in news articles in an organized manner, in order to spread lies/propaganda in major newspapers in the world. Sort of making their own 'editorial'. As such I have stopped taking comments seriously.

    September 6, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  13. rod

    Ive been saying for a while now we need a commonsense leader not a politician, a progressive conservative, if anyone could get a handle on that term without uttering thats an oxymoron, like wildlife management, no u r managing peoples influence on the resource, this is america we can b both, conservative and progressive, if all of u could further ur minds and rise to the task. The schoolkid squabbling is what costs our country. The name calling, stone throwing, the degradation. I dont like obama or bush, and this might b nostrodamus war but if obama wants to war then im behind him. Lets take out iran, north korea, and put russia and china n their place while were at it. Weve squandered any chance at diplomacy we have no money to bargain! Thats what these crappy leaders got us, rather what u ignorant voters have put n place. Only a war will unite us again, how sad.

    September 6, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  14. cmml

    Could you imagine if Russia said they had proof that Mexico was murdering its citizens and they planned military action against them? Do you think the US would go to Russia and ask to meet with Russian leaders to see the proof? That's basically what is happening here.

    September 6, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  15. Dixie

    This is a true mess. The POTUS has done what he does best. He stirs up the pot and runs so someone else to clean up the mess he makes. He threw Kerry under the bus and then played golf. Then he leaves the country so is Syria really that important to him? Who knows?

    September 6, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  16. Dawud

    This is the case you got bad human beings killing good human beings if somebody doesn't do something to stop it then we all a cowards With big guns.

    September 6, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  17. Jesse

    The last time we ignored Russia Boston was bombed. Given their FSB has way more room to operate than we do just maybe they know something.

    September 6, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  18. uncdig

    here's a first. The Russians have so little respect for Obama that they try and go around him instead. That is what you call an influential president.

    September 6, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Trying to set up meetings with U.S. lawmakers while the President is out of the country comes across rude and really bad manners to me. Let's hope no U.S. lawmaker returns the insult in kind.

    September 6, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. OKIE


    Not a good sign. All we do not need is to become enemies of Russia.

    You do realize that russia has been spitting in our face over this issue. They are basically telling the world that the assad ragime has carte blanche and they will veto ANY form if intervention including non military. Or do you not bother to read?

    September 6, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. OKIE


    I heard the Russians wanted to meet with Reid to find out how to push through legislation that 70+% of the public is against (ObamaCare and Immigration Reform) and to learn how to kowtow to union bosses.

    They are speaking to reid because republicans (like yourself) are to ignorant to come up w/ a rational line of thinking. (unfunded wars while decreasing revenues by cutting taxes for the rich, and corporations, making sure only the well to do have healthcare and food. OH OH OH and let's not forget LYING about wmd's). But het let's not let facts get in the way right?

    September 6, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. Bill

    The Russians are standing idol while people die, so they can protect their financial interests. The rest of the world is ready to go to war with the Syrian government, and the Russians are standing idol like a pack of wild idiots. At least the Chinese had the decency and common sense to talk down North Korea before things got out of hand. Russia is guilty of MURDER by association. I see no reason why we should meet with a murder. It's like meeting with Jerry Sandusky to discuss reducing the age of consent. It's preposterous.

    September 6, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  23. Peter Clarke

    I'm sure that the Russian Government doesn't care one way or the other about the Syrian people. It boils down to their economic ties with the Assad government and the money they get from them for weapons and we're talking big money. Drawing America into nothing more than a Muslim fight for power in yet another Middle Eastern country that can't get its head around democracy; what they really want is an Islamic theocracy. I think the other western powers are wise in standing clear and we as Americans should too.

    September 6, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Good for you Harry. We are the United States of America. Barack Obama IS the POTUS! There will be no meetings with Russia without him.

    Whether you like him or not he is C.I.C.

    September 6, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  25. OKIE


    There is no proof. American have nothing to show. Russians do, but it does not fit the US agenda.
    -------------------------------------------------Russians do, but it does not fit the US agenda. I agree. Considering that putin is completely against any form of civil rights, or HUMAN rights for that matter.

    There is no proof. American have nothing to show – You are completely wrong here. Not only does the US have the proof, So does the UN. Kinda funny how the UN is staying mum on the issue, yet they aknowledge that Sarin was used. Please learn to read an entire article, and not just peruse a headline or talking point from hannity

    September 6, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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