White House spokesman Josh Earnest denied that President Barack Obama regrets drawing a red line in Syria and then not enforcing it once the Syrian government used chemical weapons on Monday’s “Morning Joe.”
Earnest insisted that if the United States conducted a unilateral strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “Syria would still have a declared chemical weapons stockpile. Right now they don’t.”
Guest host Nicolle Wallace pressed Earnest claiming, “You can’t, you’re saying that we wouldn’t have gained anything in terms of our credibility in the world by saying something and then doing what we said we would do? You don’t think American power could have then influenced their decisions about stock piles?”
Earnest pivoted, and insisted that was a “hypothetical,” and “as a practical matter, we know that right now Bashar al-Assad does not have a declared chemical weapons pile.”
Wallace continued to press Earnest on the degradation to American credibility as “a historical matter that America says what it’s going to do and does what it says.”
Earnest remained insistent thought claiming, “Right now, has Bashar al-Assad does not have a declared chemical weapons stockpile.
Wallace later asked Earnest about the current status in Syria and Earnest said that “Because we worked effectively with the the Russians, we were able to get him [Bashar al-Assad] to acknowledge that he had a declared chemical weapons stockpile. We removed that declared chemical weapon stockpile. And we destroyed that declared chemical weapons stockpile. Which means that Bashar al-Assad can’t use those chemical weapons against his own people.”
Earnest concluded that removing the chemical weapons from Syria was a “consequential advancement of American interests.”