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September 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In what columnist Jeffrey Goldberg described as “the biggest get of the year,” CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose has presented excerpts from his interview with Syrian President Bashar Asad, in which Assad denies that government troops gassed his people and vows to retaliate, along with regional allies, if the U.S. launches an attack against him. The interview is also slated to run in its entirety — about one hour — on PBS’s Charlie Rose show tonight (Monday). In an email to the New York Times, CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager said, “Charlie got more out of our hour with President Assad than could be expected. It is a tough, informative and fascinating interview.” In the interview Assad repeatedly denied claims that his troops had used chemical weapons in fighting opposition forces — dismissing evidence that the Obama administration claims it has to prove its charges. Asked by Rose what he would say to President Obama if he were sitting face-to-face with him, he replied, “Present what you have as evidence to the public. Be transparent. He didn’t present because he doesn’t have. … Kerry doesn’t have it.” As for the satellite footage and intercepted messages on which the administration is basing its strategy to attack, Assad said, “We have the precedent of Colin Powell ten years ago when he showed the evidence, it was false and it was forged. … You want me to believe American evidence and don’t believe the indication that we have? We live here.” He insisted that an attack by the U.S. would “support Al Qaeda and the same people that kill Americans in the 11 of September,” who are among the opposition forces.