WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday it would release an intelligence assessment of the apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria, as President Barack Obama faced growing pressure to win support for military action from a war-weary public, skeptical lawmakers and international allies.
The unclassified assessment, expected to be released later on Friday, could give more details about last week’s chemical attack that killed hundreds and provide more insight into why administration officials have said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible.
PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – France said on Friday it still backed military action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent poison gas attack on civilians and Washington pushed ahead with plans for a response despite a British parliamentary vote against a military strike.
An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a close Assad ally, seized on Thursday’s British “no” vote which set back U.S.-led efforts to intervene against Assad, saying it reflected wider European worries about the dangers of a military response.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Susan Rice is facing her first key test as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser as she helps lead a White House effort to convince a skeptical Congress that the United States must respond to Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons.
Rice has made an abrupt transition from a high-profile and sometimes combative U.S. ambassador, who scolded the U.N. Security Council for failing to agree on Syria sanctions, to a behind-the-scenes power player at the White House.
OAK BLUFFS, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Teeing off for the fifth time on his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, President Barack Obama attempted yet again on Saturday to persuade the golf gods to pass favor on his game.
He is the latest in a long line of presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton, who have loved the game but found it a difficult sport to master.
EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) – August has a way of interfering with a U.S. president’s best-laid plans for vacation. Just ask Barack Obama. Or Bill Clinton. Or either of the presidents named Bush.
Obama, determined to take a week off from his typically grinding schedule, interrupted his holiday briefly on Thursday to condemn the killing of hundreds of people in a violent crackdown on demonstrators by Egypt’s military government.
CHILMARK/VINEYARD HAVEN, Massachusetts (Reuters) – President Barack Obama announced on Thursday that the United States is cancelling joint military exercises with Egypt next month, saying normal U.S. cooperation cannot continue in light of the armed forces’ bloody crackdown.
“The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces,” Obama said on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, where he is on vacation.
CHILMARK, Massachusetts (Reuters) – President Barack Obama condemned the bloody crackdown in Egypt on Thursday, announcing that joint military exercises next month were canceled and that normal U.S. cooperation could not continue with the country while civilians were being killed.
“The United States strongly condemns the steps that have been taken by Egypt’s interim government and security forces,” Obama said on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard where he is on vacation.
EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) – The White House condemned a violent crackdown on protesters in Egypt on Wednesday and strongly opposed the declaration of a state of emergency made by Egypt’s military leaders.
But White House spokesman Josh Earnest gave no indication that the United States is prepared to immediately cut off its $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt. He did say, however, that U.S. aid to Egypt is under review, as it has been for weeks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday denied he has poor relations with Vladimir Putin after canceling their Moscow talks, but said the Russian president can sometimes appear “like a bored kid in the back of the classroom.”
U.S.-Russian relations plunged to one of their lowest points since the Cold War this week after Russia granted temporary asylum to fugitive former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden. Obama retaliated by abruptly canceling a Moscow summit with Putin planned for early next month.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama announced plans on Friday to limit sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs that have come under criticism since leaks by a former spy agency contractor, saying the United States “can and must be more transparent.”
“Given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance, particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives,” Obama told a news conference at the White House.