Secretary of State John Kerry announced that evidence shows Sarin gas was used during the chemical weapons attack that killed over 1,400 people in Syria last week and compared Bashar al-Assad to Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler during his tour of all five Sunday morning talk shows. Kerry sat down with the hosts of CNN's State of the Union, NBC's Meet the Press, CBS's Face the Nation, ABC's This Week and Fox News Sunday to discuss the Syrian chemical weapons attacks and to make the case for American intervention, again, ahead of the debates and votes facing Congress on September 9. We've broken the most important quotes down for you below.
"Let me just add that this morning, a very important recent development, that in the last 24 hours, we have learned through samples that were provided to the United States that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of sarin," Kerry first told Meet the Press, and State of the Union, too. "So, this case is building, and this case will build," he said.
Assad's Place Among History's Biggest Villains
"Bashar al-Assad now joins the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein who have used these weapons in time of war," Kerry said on Meet the Press. "There's a front against the decency and sensibilities of the world," he said.
On Congress Voting No
"We don't contemplate that Congress is going to vote no," Kerry said on State of the Union. "We believe this case is powerful and continues to grow by the day." Kerry explained that Obama has "the right" to strike if Congress votes against striking Syria, but that the country would be stronger with congressional support. "I think the stakes are too high here," he said on This Week, before launching into a greater explanation of why the U.S. must act in this scenario:
"And I believe that as we go forward in the next days, the congress will recognize that we can not allow Assad to be able to gas people with impunity. If the United States is unwilling to lead a coalition of people who are prepared to stand up for the international norm with respect to chemical weapons that's been in place since 1925, if we are unwilling to do that, we will be granting a blanket license to Assad to continue to gas and we will send a terrible message to the North Koreans, Iranians and others who might be trying to read how serious is America about enforcing its nonproliferation, counternuclear weapons initiatives."
On More Countries Possibly Joining the U.S. in a Coalition to Strike Syria
"I've talked with a number of nations who have offered to be helpful," Kerry said on Meet the Press. "No decisions have been made about what shape that will take. But I believe that there are many -- the Arab League has already spoken out. Voices as far away as Japan, New Zealand, Australia, other places have spoken out."
On the Possibility Assad Carries Out Another Chemical Weapons Attack Ahead of a Congressional Vote
"I am amazed that you would argue against the Congress of the United States weighing in, when in fact, already Assad is on the defensive, he's moving assets around, he's hunkering down, he's taking a response to the potential of a strike. And the fact is that this strike can have impact when it needs to, with the support of the Congress of the United States," Kerry said on Fox News Sunday. "So if the Assad regime - let me just finish. If the Assad regime were to be foolish enough to attack yet again and to do something in the meantime, of course the president of the United States knows he has the power to do this, and I assume the president would move very, very rapidly. But he feels we are stronger in getting the United States as a whole to gel around this policy, to understand it better, and to know what the strategy is, and why the United States needs to do this."
On Whether or Not the U.S. Has a "Slam Dunk" Case Against Assad
"The word 'slam dunk' should be retired from the American national security issues," Kerry said on Meet the Press. "We are saying that the high confidence that the intelligence community has expressed and the case that I laid out the other day is growing stronger by the day. We know where this attack came from. We know exactly where it went. We know what happened exactly afterwards."
On the Extent of the Operation and the Chance Assad Could Continue to Govern
"The president has drawn a clear line," Kerry said on Face the Nation. "He does not intend to put boots on the ground. He is not going to envelope the United States inside Syria's civil struggle. But he has committed to help the opposition. And he has stated unequivocally that [President Bashar] Assad has lost all legitimacy and cannot conceivably continue to govern, ultimately, Syria."
Here are all of Kerry's interviews, from NBC:
And, finally, CNN:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.