September 5th, 2013
10:37 AM ET

Senate Committee Approves Force in Syria, Now What?

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill authorizing the use of force in Syria Wednesday, leaving administration officials to lobby Congressional lawmakers for the same conclusion today.

CNN's Chris Lawrence reports.

After the 10 – 7 win in the Senate, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuch Hagel faced a very tough crowd in the house.

One explosive confrontation shows the hard work ahead for these men to win over lawmakers:

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC): "Mr. Kerry, you have never been one that has advocated anything other than caution, when involving U.S. forces in past conflicts. Is the power of the executive branch so intoxicating that you would abandon past caution in favor for pulling the trigger on a military response so quickly?"

Kerry responded: "I volunteered to fight for my country and that wasn't a cautious thing to do when I did it."

Members of Congress are asking the hard questions Americans want to know like what comes after a proposed military strike? What happens if they shoot back at Americans? Who are the rebel forces?

CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken if the President will address the American people and these concerns directly any time soon.

Blinken dodged answering directly when he said, “I think it’s safe to say that the President will continue to address the American people on the need to hold Assad accountable for the use of poison gas on its own people and his own children."


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September 5th, 2013
10:06 AM ET

Rumsfeld: 'Iraq Mistakes Could Provide Obstacle For Syrian Action'

On “New Day,” Thursday, Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says that getting it wrong in Iraq could be part of the obstacle to getting support for taking action in Syria.

When CNN’s Chris Cuomo asks if the legacy leftover from invading Iraq, where people believe intelligence was manipulated, creates suspicion over the proof the U.S. now presents of the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, Rumsfeld replies that people who believe that about Iraq are “on the fringe” and defends the invasion. 

On people thinking intelligence on Iraq was manipulated, Rumsfeld answers, “I think not. In fact, I have not heard people say that, responsibly. And if you’ll recall, Congress looked at the same intelligence and came to the same conclusions and there were… prominent Democrats who enthusiastically supported it. President Clinton had signed a resolution supporting regime change in Iraq. And the United Nations had 17 resolutions against Saddam Hussein. I think that there may be people on the fringe who say the kind of thing that you’re saying, but I don’t think anyone responsible has said anything like that.

On mistakes in Iraq providing an obstacle to getting involved in Syria, Rumsfeld says,

“I suppose it’s part of the problem. If intelligence were a fact it would be called a fact, and not intelligence. And I think when Colin Powell went before the United Nations with George Tenet, the Director of Intelligence, and talked about the intelligence they had in great detail and then it turned out that stockpiles were not found – that people were cautious and began to recognize that intelligence is intelligence and not necessarily a fact.”


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September 5th, 2013
09:45 AM ET

At G-20, Obama Will Come Face-To-Face With Putin

Thursday marks the beginning of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but with tension between President Obama and President Putin  mounting on Syria, gay rights and NSA leaker Edward Snowden, some say Obama is walking into the lion's den.

President Obama, commenting on the relationship, has said, "We've kinda hit a wall in terms of additional progress," CNN's Brianna Keilar reports.

President Obama defended his position to launch strikes in Syria Wednesday in Sweden saying "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent."

Putin remains vehemently opposed to a military response against the Assad regime, casting doubt over the evidence the U.S. government says it has on chemical weapons use in the country.

Putin saying, "If we have objective, precise data of who is responsible for these crimes, then we'll react.

CNN's Kate Bouldan asks CNN's Fareed Zakaria  to delve deeper into the thought process in Russia and explain why they currently stand with the Assad regime.

The host of "Fareed Zakaria GPS" responds it is, in part, because they don't want the United Nations to interfere with the nation's sovereignty, and they are also afraid of who would take over if the regime falls.

He says, “The part that I think that maybe is at the heart of this is the Russian’s worry that if Assad falls in Syria, a whole bunch of Islamic militants will come to power and will start spreading Islamic militancy and jihad into Russia."


This is the highest tensions have been between the two world powers since the cold war.

Though Syria is just one divisive issue.

President Obama canceled his private meeting with Putin several weeks ago after the Russian leader's refusal to extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

While in St. Petersburg, Obama also plans to meet with gay rights activists on Putin's turf as outrage spreads over Russia's new law banning any promotion of gay relationships to minors.

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September 5th, 2013
07:46 AM ET

"Morning Minute" with Michaela Pereira –September 5, 2013

Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now!

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