President Obama does not regret backing down on his “red line” in Syria, according to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Earnest was asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning if the president regretted his declaration of a “red line” regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons, only to back down from the idea of military force to remove him from power once that line was crossed.
“He does not,” Earnest said shortly, asserting that the United States would be in a worse situation if Obama went into Syria unilaterally.
Earnest praised the Obama administrations for “working effectively with the Russians,” allowing the United States to organize a peaceful removal of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile out of Syria.
When questioned about Obama’s willingness to continue working with Russia to respond to Syrian dictator, Earnest remarked that it wasn’t just about battling Putin’s ego.
“This isn’t about trying to keep Vladimir Putin’s ego in check … there’s no denying it’s quite healthy, which is fine,” he said.
Earnest added that Obama’s meeting with Putin yesterday in New York was an opportunity for the pair to be “quite candid” about the situation in Syria.
He explained that the two leaders agreed on “the need to deconflict on a tactical level” when it came to their respective military forces acting in Syria.
“That’s going to be important to our progress and the safety of our men and women as well,” he said.