10 September 2013, 02:05

Obama grants six TV interviews on eve of Syria speech. LIVE UPDATES

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Obama has six television interviews lined up Monday — with anchors at NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN and Fox News — seeking to persuade members of the public and Congress to back a military strike against Syria over chemical weapons.

  • 02:16

    Obama says he spoke with Putin at the G20 summit and Putin does not see the "use of chemical weapons as a good thing." We have to maintain this pressure," Obama says. "I'll still be speaking to the nation tomorrow about why this is so important."

  • 03:02
    Obama suggested in his interview with Gwen Ifill that he's having a hard enough time convincing his own extended family that intervening in Syria is the right course of action, let alone the rest of the country.
  • 02:57
    President Obama tells NBC he has not yet decided whether he would strike Assad even without congressional approval.
  • 02:46
    Obama tells NBC that the Russian proposal to bring Assad's chemical arsenal under international control must be "taken with a grain of salt initially", quoting Ronald Reagan, who once said "trust but verify".
  • 02:40
    "My own family members are very wary & suspicious" of US military action in Syria, President Obama tells PBS.
  • 02:39
    On ABC News, Diane Sawyer asks Obama if we're off the brink if Assad's chemical weapons are put under international control. "Absolutely," he says, noting that it's his "preference" that this be taken care of in a non-military way.
  • 02:39
    Obama tells NBC he's not "confident" in success in Congress: "I wouldn't say I'm confident. I'm confident that the members of Congress are taking this.... seriously. Doing their homework. And I appreciate that."
  • 02:35
    Obama says he hasn't "decided" on a next step if Congress doesn't authorize military strike on Syria.
  • 02:30
    In his NBC interview, President Obama appears to be seeking to lower expectations for a congressional victory on the proposed authorization of military use of force. The NBC report is scheduled to air shortly.
  • 02:29
    Obama told Fox News regarding the chemical weapons proposal: "This is something that is not new. I’ve been discussing this with President Putin for some time now.”
  • 02:19
    "This is not Iraq, this is not Afghanistan. This is not even Libya." But he knew when he "presented this to Congress that this would be challenging." He wants to make that case that acting on this is in "our long-term national interests."
  • 02:19
    On PBS, Obama tells Gwen Ifill that "if we can come up with a mechanism to get these under control, verify and make sure they are not being used," then he's for that. But he reiterates that "Assad cannot lie his way through this."
  • 02:18
    In the CNN interview, Obama appears to undercut national security adviser Susan Rice and others who have argued, as Rice did earlier today, that Assad's use of chemical weapons constitutes a "serious threat to our national security," "even potentially our citizens at home."
  • 02:18
    Blitzer asks Obama to address Assad directly. The president declines to take up the anchor's somewhat demeaning request: "I don't need to talk to the camera," Obama says. "I suspect he's got people who will be watching."
  • 02:18
    On CNN, Obama concedes that even an agreement on chemical weapons would not solve the broader challenge of the Syrian conflict. But Obama says that without military pressure, "I don't think we're going to get the kind of agreement I'd like to see."
  • 02:17
    Obama tells Fox News's Chris Wallace that he "fervently hopes that this can be resolved in a non-military way," but doesn't want to take the "pedal off the metal" with regards to seeking authorization for military strikes just yet. He reiterates that the "credible military threat" is what's brought about the idea of putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control.
  • 02:15
    President Obama tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer that Syria lacks the capability of retaliating in any significant way against US.
  • 02:14
    Obama says Russia's chemical weapon proposal must be verified, enforced, CBS News reports.
  • 02:13
    "I wouldn't say I'm confident" about Congress vote on Syria military strikes, US President Obama admits.
  • 02:13
    Obama: Talk of Syria ditching chemical weapons a potential "breakthrough," but still skeptical.
  • 02:12

    Obama: Russia plan for chemical arms in Syria 'potentially positive'.

  • 02:11
    Barack Obama to Diane Sawyer on whether military strike is “on pause” if Assad gives up chemical weapons:"Absolutely” - ABC News
  • 02:09
    Obama on vote in Congress to authorize Syria strike: "I wouldn't say I'm confident".
  • 02:09

    Obama tells CNN's Blitzer on Syria weapons proposal: 'We're going to take this seriously'.

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