Mixed Messages: White House Rules Out Strike Without Congress Vote, Obama Does Not
Not even Obama’s aides know what he’s planning
Sept 6, 2013
The White House and the President have obviously not managed to get their story straight with each other on Syria, as aides today ruled out a military strike without Congressional approval, while Obama himself refused to do the same.
White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told reporters on Friday that if Congress rejects President Obama’s request to authorize a military strike against Syria, it is “neither his desire nor his intention” to carry out the attack regardless.
However, at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Obama was less clear when asked whether he would take military action without Congressional approval.
“I put this before Congress for a reason,” Obama told reporters. “I believe action is more effective and stronger if we are united. I’m not engaging in parlor games with respect to how Congress responds to their constituents’ concerns.”
Obama added that he would have already taken action without consulting Congress had there been a direct threat to the United States or its allies.