WJTV News Channel 12 - Obama has strong words for Syria in news conference

Obama has strong words for Syria in news conference

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

President Barack Obama strongly suggested Tuesday he'd consider military action against Syria if it can be confirmed that President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons in the two-year-old civil war.
    
At a White House news conference, the president also defended the FBI in regard to its efforts before the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon two weeks ago.
    
Asked about Syria, the president said that while there is evidence that chemical weapons were used inside the country, "we don't know when they were used, how they were used. We don't know who used them. We don't have a chain of custody that establishes" exactly what happened.
    
If it can be established that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, he added, "we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us."
    
"Obviously there are options to me that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed," he said, noting that he had asked Pentagon planners last year for additional possibilities.
    
On another topic, Obama responded with slight ridicule and humor when he was asked if he still had the political juice to push his agenda through Congress after an early second-term defeat on gun control legislation.
    
"Golly, I might just as well pack up and go home," he parried his questioner. Paraphrasing Mark Twain, he said, "Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point." And he expressed confidence that Congress would approve sweeping immigration legislation that he is seeking.
    
He also renewed his call for lawmakers to replace across-the-board federal spending cuts. The administration favors a comprehensive plan to reduce deficits through targeted spending cuts and higher taxes.
    
Asked about the FBI's investigation into a possible terrorist threat posed in the past by Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings who died in an escape attempt, the president said, "Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties , the Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing."
    
"But this is hard stuff," he said of the work needed to ferret out security threats at home.
    
He also said that "Russians have been very cooperative with us since the Boston bombing."
    
The bombing suspects are Russian natives who immigrated to the Boston area. Russian authorities told U.S. officials before the bombings they had concerns about the family, but Moscow has revealed details of wiretapped conversations only since the attack.
    
Asked about a topic that links terrorism and his Obama's legislative efforts, he said he would "re-engage with Congress" on the future of the prison for detainees at Guantanamo in Cuba. As a candidate for the White House in 2007 and 2008, Obama called for closing the base, which was set up as part of President George W. Bush's response to the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Lawmakers objected and the facility remains open.
    
Asked about a hunger strike by some detainees, he said, "I don't want these individuals to die," and he said the Pentagon was doing what it could to manage the situation.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Judge's ruling on school vouchers being appealed

    Judge's ruling on school vouchers being appealed

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:29 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:29:21 GMT
    A ruling by a Wake County superior court judge that a state program to pay for private school vouchers is unconstitutional is being appealed.
    A ruling by a Wake County superior court judge that a state program to pay for private school vouchers is unconstitutional is being appealed.
  • SBI changes could affect 2016 NC gubernatorial election

    SBI changes could affect 2016 NC gubernatorial election

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:11:39 GMT
    McCrory quickly named an acting director for SBI Aug. 7, hours after signing legislation that shifted the agency to one of his Cabinet-level agencies, picking another one of his law enforcement leaders to fill the job.McCrory quickly named an acting director for SBI Aug. 7, hours after signing legislation that shifted the agency to one of his Cabinet-level agencies, picking another one of his law enforcement leaders to fill the job.
    A change in who the director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports to could have an affect on the 2016 gubernatorial election.
    A change in who the director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports to could have an affect on the 2016 gubernatorial election.
  • NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

    NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:36:33 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.