Peter King and other House Republicans meet with WH chief of staff
September 9th, 2013
03:33 PM ET
7 months ago

Peter King and other House Republicans meet with WH chief of staff

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.

"The overriding thing was that the president has to make it clear that this a national security issue," King told CNN.

"This is not Obama's war – this is a military strike that is in our national interests," he added. "He [the President] needs to make that clear – how central it is."

King said that Secretary of State John Kerry's statement earlier Monday describing potential U.S. military action as an "unbelievable small" attack doesn't help convince people.

"The other thing is that they have to show that they are serious about it," King said.

Referencing the president's televised address scheduled for Tuesday night, King said it's important that he explains the case more clearly, telling CNN so far "there's basically not been a totally coherent policy."

The New York Republican said "there is large scale opposition," and among the group of those on the Hill supporting the president "none of us are winning votes for being there."

King said the issue of the latest Russian proposal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons did come up in the meeting, but he did not want to characterize how McDonough responded to it.

King was skeptical of Russia's proposal, saying "I have a hard time trusting the Russians. I don't want to prejudge it right now. We want to make sure it's not a delaying tactic. I have a hard time seeing Assad giving up his chemical weapons."

King praised McDonough as a "straight shooter" and said he was a "good messenger" to talk more broadly with House Republicans. He said now that members are back in town from the August recess, the White House should take advantage and ramp up efforts to meet with GOP members.

On his way into the meeting, King ran into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was reviewing her prepared remarks on Syria with her aides.

Senior House GOP aides: WH not reaching out to House Republicans


Filed under: Denis McDonough • Peter King • Syria
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Keep Fear ALive

    Every Time Obama reaches out to an EELECTED republican, he winds up pulling back a bloody stump .... The republican are operating under the fog of a spell called denial.... denial that the last election was lost to the 'black man' again ... they just CAN'T STAND the fact that the majority of the american people wanted him INSTEAD of MITTENS ... so now they will punish the country for voting for him by shuittuing fdown the government .. the ONLY democratized country of earth that willl economically punish itself through the legislative branch as a form of a National TEMPER TANTRUM ... the GOP are sore and sour LOSERS .... and they always will be because they intrinsically hate half the american population...

    September 9, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Steve, New York City

    At first, I was so outraged that any sovereign state would use chemical weapons on civilians that I was rearing for the US to attack.
    However, upon further reflection, the lack of clarity on this case now bothers me. Did any faction among the rebels use such weapons? What of Iran's claim that jihadists had used these weapons? While it would be silly to simply take the Iranian government's word on this, the claim should at least be investigated . . . . if the evidence is indisuptable, Assad should pay. . . . but as more doubt seeps into which side actually used these weapons, then this entire drive for war starts to wreak of the nauseating stench of the (war criminal) neo-cons.

    September 9, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    I read in an earlier post by a right wingnut that the president was not meeting with the baggers. Another republican lie debunked.

    If you can't believe lying republicans who represent Putin and Assad, who can you believe?

    September 9, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, hell just froze over: King and Obama on the same side of an issue. Can't wait for the delta-minus of the CNN Ticker, Just Sayin, to weigh in.

    September 9, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. just saying

    Keep Fear ALive
    Every Time Obama reaches out to an EELECTED republican, he winds up pulling back a bloody stump .... The republican are operating under the fog of a spell called denial.... denial that the last election was lost to the 'black man' again ... they just CAN'T STAND the fact that the majority of the american people wanted him INSTEAD of MITTENS ... so now they will punish the country for voting for him by shuittuing fdown the government .. the ONLY democratized country of earth that willl economically punish itself through the legislative branch as a form of a National TEMPER TANTRUM ... the GOP are sore and sour LOSERS .... and they always will be because they intrinsically hate half the american population...
    -–

    shutting down the government???? meds must not have arrived in time, huh? take a deep breath, now what was that you were ranting about a temper tantrum? hahahhahaha....

    September 9, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. just asking

    Tampa Tim
    I read in an earlier post by a right wingnut that the president was not meeting with the baggers. Another republican lie debunked.
    If you can't believe lying republicans who represent Putin and Assad, who can you believe?
    -–

    a republican house member sent a letter over a week ago offering to support obama and never got a response. try to keep up tiny tim....

    September 9, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @just asking
    a republican house member sent a letter over a week ago offering to support obama and never got a response. try to keep up tiny tim
    -------------------------------------------------
    He reached out to WH Sept 2nd and got a response a week later.
    Let's see what was keeping the President so busy all that week, oh yeah, the G-20 Summit, braintrust.

    September 9, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. J.A. Ribelles

    Lets drop a few hydrogen bombs and get it over once and for all. If we chicken out of this one we a looking at carnage in this country in the future.What doe it take? Another Pearl Harbor? Shame on us!!!!!

    September 9, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    The Real Tom Paine
    Cantor's job is Party Whip, meaning, that he is responsible for discipline and getting votes lined up. If the Speaker says to do something, it is up to the Whip and his/her deputies to make sure the votes are there.
    -

    yes fool, for legislation that they support! you honestly think anybody is going to force or strong arm other elected representatives to vote to go to war based on political pressure?! you really need to get your head extracted from your backside. that may be the way the mindless democrats do things but it is not the way the republicans do things. besides, beohner had already made it clear to obama he wasn't going to be trying to get people lined up. that was the clueless wonder in the white house's job. but he i sjust too lazy and arrogant to do it. must have had a golf date.
    ******************************************
    I was explaining something about party discipline to you, something the GOP used to have when it really counted. Their job is to keep people in line, not when its easy, but when its hard. That is the failure of leadership I pointed out, and they are the ones who being led from behind. The GOP leaders are the most sorry lazy bunch of incompetants ever to sit in those chair.s No wonder you love them.

    September 9, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    @J.A. Ribelles

    Better yet, let's have a poll and see what the favorability rating is on the job the Middle East is doing on policing itself. Then we can sit back and argue the pro's and con's until doomsday ... which in your case you would be in favor of a sooner rather than later doomsday scenario.

    September 9, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |