Washington (CNN) - A Republican congressman, whose offer to help the president on Syria was ignored last week, said he met with the White House chief of staff on Monday.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois met with Denis McDonough one day after he said in a TV interview that the White House did not reach out to him when he proposed helping them gather votes of support for the president’s Syria proposal.
(CNN) - The United States should not take action in Syria, because it would appear to be siding with an opposition force that has extremist elements, Sen. Rand Paul said Monday in the debut of CNN's new "Crossfire."
"We've seen priests beheaded by the Islamic rebels...We've also seen an Islamic rebel eating the heart of a soldier. So it's not like there's no atrocity on the other side, and al Qaeda is on the other side," he said. "I can't conceive of how we would go in and be allies with al Qaeda."
(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is holding off on taking steps toward a first vote on whether to authorize a military strike against Syria over alleged chemical weapons use. The decision follows Russia's proposal that Syria relinquish its chemical weapons stockpiles to international control.
An aide said that the Russia proposal is serious and fluid enough that members do not want to lock themselves into a position on Syria just yet. An initial Senate vote on the issue had been expected on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Russia's proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to international control was a "potentially positive development," but could be a stall tactic, President Barack Obama told CNN on Monday.
"We're going to run this to ground," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, adding that the United States will work with Syrian ally Russia and the international community "to see if we can arrive at something that is enforceable and serious."FULL STORY
CNN's GUT CHECK | for September 9, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
THE BLITZ! PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SITS DOWN WITH CNN’S WOLF BLITZER… Watch the interview tonight on "The Situation Room" at 6 p.m. ET.
CROSSFIRE RETURNS: CNN’s new edition of CROSSFIRE premieres tonight at 6:30 pm ET. You can join the first guests Sens. Rand Paul and bob Menendez in the Crossfire on Twitter (#CrossfireReturns), Facebook.com/CNN, or CNN.com/Crossfire.
KERRY COMMENT LEADS TO POSSIBLE SYRIA SOLUTION: After Secretary of State John Kerry said that Syria could stave off an attack by handing over control of its chemical weapons, Russia quickly pounced on the plan and offered it to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad’s administration. Kerry’s spokeswoman issued a hasty statement saying Kerry did not consider this a serious possibility, but it was too late. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem told reporters in Moscow that his nation “welcomes” a proposal by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during talks on Monday: put Syria's chemical weapons under international control to avert a U.S. military response over an alleged poison gas attack last month.
Washington (CNN) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday it would be an "important step" if Syria immediately surrendered its chemical weapons stockpiles to international control.
"But this cannot be another excuse for delay or obstruction. And Russia has to support the international community's efforts sincerely or be held to account," she said.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - One day before President Barack Obama gives a prime time speech to make his case against Syria, a new national poll indicates the president's approval rating on foreign policy has hit an all-time low. And only three in ten approve of how he is handling Syria.
Washington (CNN) - New York Republican Rep. Peter King, a supporter of military action in Syria, and several other House GOP members met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough Monday at the White House to discuss Syria and the president's speech Tuesday night.
King declined to identify the whole group, but said Reps. Tom Cotton, Mike Pompeo, and Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers – all of whom back the president's plan in Syria – were among those in the meeting.
Washington (CNN) - Senior House Republican aides are frustrated that the Obama administration has done little to reach out to rank-and-file House GOP members to make the case for why military action is needed in Syria.
"Mr. McDonough has been meeting with Democrats, but the administration has shown no strategy, no effort to talk to rank-and-file House Republican members," one senior House GOP leadership aide told CNN.