Obama: US doesn't know all the facts from Syria

President Barack Obama says the United States doesn't know how or when chemical weapons were used in Syria or who used them.

President Barack Obama says the United States doesn't know how or when chemical weapons were used in Syria or who used them. (4/30/13)

WASHINGTON - (AP) President Barack Obama strongly suggested Tuesday he'd consider military action against Syria if it can be confirmed that President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons in the two-year-old civil war.

At a White House news conference, the president also defended the FBI in regard to its efforts before the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon two weeks ago.

Asked about Syria, the president said that while there is evidence that chemical weapons were used inside the country, "we don't know when they were used, how they were used. We don't know who used them. We don't have a chain of custody that establishes" exactly what happened.

If it can be established that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, he added, "we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us."

"Obviously there are options to me that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed," he said, noting that he had asked Pentagon planners last year for additional possibilities.

On another topic, Obama responded with slight ridicule and humor when he was asked if he still had the political juice to push his agenda through Congress after an early second-term defeat on gun control legislation.

"Golly, I might just as well pack up and go home," he parried his questioner. Paraphrasing Mark Twain, he said, "Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point." And he expressed confidence that Congress would approve sweeping immigration legislation that he is seeking.

He also renewed his call for lawmakers to replace across-the-board federal spending cuts. The administration favors a comprehensive plan to reduce deficits through targeted spending cuts and higher taxes.

To watch Obama's remarks, click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Jack Martins, a Republican member of the state 1 Sen. Martins announces Nassau exec bid
An Amtrak power problem caused Long Island Rail 2 Amtrak power problem causes more LIRR disruptions
Suffolk County has scrapped a controversial proposal to 3 Suffolk scraps proposal to raise ticket fees
Police say Jay Marcello inappropriately touched teenagers while 4 Prosecutors: Camp counselor accused of sexual abuse had 8 victims
Officials say retired Lt. Paul Dean, of Wantagh, 5 2 retired NYPD officers from LI arrested in gun permit scheme

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

Each week, News 12's Doug Geed explores the Check out fun things to do on the East End!

Explore the Twin Forks with News 12's Doug Geed.

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Dog Day Fridays Series

Each week a different shelter visits News 12 Long Island with pets up for adoption.

News 12 digs deep to find Long Island's Discover Long Island's Hidden Past

News 12's Danielle Campbell digs into Long Island's roots.

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long On The Spot

News 12's Lily Stolzberg sees how much Long Islanders know about everything and anything.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE