(CNN) – Three top Obama officials underwent another round of questioning Wednesday in their effort to sway Congress to support the president's proposal for limited military strikes in Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey returned to the Hill, this time for a four-hour grilling by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
(CNN) - Following his tense exchange with John Kerry at Tuesday's Senate hearing on Syria, Sen. Rand Paul said the secretary of state is overstating his certitude that a military strike against the regime of Bashar al-Assad will make the Middle East safer.
"Well, he sounds like he must be a clairvoyant because he can predict the future now and so we should ask him for stock picks, you name it, who's going to win the Kentucky Derby next year if he can guarantee the future," the Kentucky Republican said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."
Updated 3:20 p.m. ET, 9/1
(CNN) - Blood and hair samples from eastern Damascus, Syria, have "tested positive for signatures of sarin" gas, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday, arguing that with "each day that goes by, this case is even stronger."
Kerry said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the U.S. obtained the samples independently from "first responders" and through an "appropriate chain of custody"," not the United Nations chemical weapons inspectors.
Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Syrian officials made preparations for chemical weapons use for three days prior to the August 21 attack, and that rockets were launched from areas controlled by the Syrian regime and landed in areas controlled by the opposition or contested.
Kerry said the American intelligence community has "high confidence" in what he called evidence and facts that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, adding that "the questions is what are we ... in the world going to do about it."
He spoke as the government released an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community of the alleged August 21 attack.
"We assess with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in the Damascus suburbs," the report said.
Washington (CNN) - A top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee urged the Obama administration against taking unilateral military action in Syria, in part because of how it would look in the international community.
Sen. Jack Reed said Monday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that unilateral action would be "a mistake" and that with a coalition the "political pressure would be sufficient" to pressure the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad. Potential partners could include Great Britain, France and Turkey, he said.
(CNN) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria "inexcusable" and "undeniable" on Monday, adding that there was "a clear reason that the world has banned entirely chemical weapons."
He said that evidence "strongly indicates" chemical weapons were used in Syria and that "we know the Syrian regime maintains custody" of such weapons and has the rockets to use them.
Read a transcript of his remarks below.
Updated 3:46 p.m. ET, 8/4/2013
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama spent much of his birthday weekend away from the White House but was briefed about the terror threat that prompted embassy closings and heightened military readiness across the Middle East and North Africa.
On Sunday afternoon, he returned to Washington from the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, where he had flown Saturday afternoon after golfing with close friends earlier in the day. Obama turned 52 Sunday.
(CNN) - Legally married same-sex spouses seeking U.S. visas will now be treated the same as opposite-sex spouses, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Friday.
Kerry told a meeting with consular staff in London that the change means that his department was "tearing down an unjust and an unfair barrier that for too long stood in the way of same-sex families being able to travel as a family to the United States."FULL STORY
(CNN) - The long-dormant Middle East peace efforts got new life on Friday.
An agreement has been reached that "establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between" Palestinians and Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday in Amman, Jordan.FULL STORY
(CNN) - A man who apparently aroused the suspicion of security personnel outside Secretary of State John Kerry's home in Boston was arrested on Sunday on an alcohol-related charge, and authorities later found a pellet gun in his car, a Kerry aide said.
Glen Johnson, a Kerry spokesman, said members of the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service observed the man, who was not identified, taking a picture of a window at Kerry's house.FULL STORY