Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain expressed exasperation with the White House's handling of Syria Tuesday morning while saying that a potential handover of chemical weapons needs to be considered.
The longtime senator from Arizona, a leading Republican voice in calls for military action against Syria, told CNN that he was extremely skeptical of the intentions of the government in Damascus to hand over or destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as Russia's intentions to facilitate such a move. But he didn't dismiss it out of hand.
Washington (CNN) - What the United States and its allies should do about Syria is taking shape as President Barack Obama prepares to give a prime-time address to the nation, a senior administration official involved in Syria policy said Tuesday.
Consultations are going on with France and others about how to move quickly - at the United Nations and otherwise - to test whether Russia and Syria are serious about a proposal for Damascus to have Syria hand its chemical arsenal over to international control, the official said.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that as President Barack Obama prepares to try to convince a skeptical American public why the U.S. should take military action against Syria, he's partly to blame for the box he's put himself into.
The CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday indicates that Americans are divided evenly on whether Obama is a strong leader as well as whether he's honest and trustworthy.
"One concern is the messenger himself," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The public's split right down the middle on whether Obama is a strong leader, whether he is honest and trustworthy, and whether he inspires confidence."FULL STORY
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) - 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
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.