US dismisses Assad’s denials

WASHINGTON (AP) — His words aren’t backed up by the facts. That’s the Obama administration’s response to the denials by Syrian President Bashar Assad that his military used chemical weapons in a deadly attack near Damascus last month.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says it’s no surprise that someone who would kill hundreds of children with poison gas would also lie about it.

Assad, in an interview broadcast on CBS’ “This Morning,” said his troops didn’t use chemical weapons in an attack last month near Damascus. He also warned that there will be consequences for the United States if it launches a military strike against him.

Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking today in London, said he’d be confident going into any courtroom with the evidence gathered by the United States against Syria’s government.

Amid continued reluctance by members of Congress to go along with a military strike in Syria, President Barack Obama continues his effort to convince lawmakers and the American public that it’s the right thing to do. Obama has interviews scheduled on six TV news broadcasts this evening, and he’s again sent his senior foreign policy team to lobby Congress.

%@AP Links

182-a-06-(Secretary of State John Kerry, at joint news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague)-”contradicted by facts”-Secretary of State John Kerry says there is strong evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government carried out last month’s chemical attack, despite Assad’s claims that the U.S. has no proof. (9 Sep 2013)

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172-w-33-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP national security correspondent, with Syrian President Bashar Assad)–Syria’s president says the U.S. would ‘pay the price’ for a military attack on his nation. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. ((RESTRICTION: The Assad cut from this wrap may not be extracted and used separately)) (9 Sep 2013)

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169-a-03-(Syrian President Bashar Assad, in interview with Charlie Rose)-”the United States”-Syrian President Bashar Assad has a message for the American people. COURTESY: “CBS This Morning” ((mandatory on-air credit)) RESTRICTION: May not be used after 8:30 aed Thursday 9/11. (9 Sep 2013)

<<CUT *169 (09/09/13)££ 00:03 “the United States”

APPHOTO DCCK105: Protesters against U.S. military action in Syria shout during a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will address the nation regarding Syria. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (9 Sep 2013)

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APPHOTO NY113: In this frame grab from video taken Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, and provided by “CBS This Morning,” Syrian President Bashar Assad responds to a question from journalist Charlie Rose during an interview in Damascus, Syria. Assad warned in the interview broadcast Monday on CBS there will be retaliation against the U.S. for any military strike launched in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack. Assad said, “You should expect everything.” (AP Photo/CBS This Morning) (9 Sep 2013)

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APPHOTO XAG119: US Secretary of State John Kerry touches his head with his hand during a joint press conference with Britain Foreign Secretary William Hague at Foreign Office in London, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday renewed U.S. allegations that Syria’s President Bashar Assad launched a chemical weapons attack against his own people and said that Assad could resolve the crisis by turning over “every single bit” of his weapons arsenal to the international community within a week. Appearing at a news conference with William Hague, his British counterpart, Kerry quickly added that Assad “isn’t about to do that.”(AP Photo/Alastair Grant,Pool) (9 Sep 2013)

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