printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


Jen Psaki
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
September 5, 2013


Share
Index for Today's Briefing
  • DEPARTMENT
    • Secretary Kerry Travel to Lithuania, France, and the United Kingdom
    • Arab League Meeting
  • EGYPT
    • Assassination Attempt against Interim Interior Minister
  • SYRIA
    • Coordination with Congress
    • International Coordination / Countries Supporting U.S.
    • Secretary Kerry Call with FM Lavrov
    • Overall Syria Strategy / Political Solution / Geneva II Planning
    • Syrian Opposition / Concern about Violent Extremists
    • Secretary Kerry and Assad
  • BRAZIL
    • Cancellation of Presidential Advance Team Trip to Washington
  • KENYA
    • ICC Vote


TRANSCRIPT:

The video is also available with closed captioning on YouTube.

12:25 p.m. EDT

MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone.

QUESTION: Welcome back.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you. It’s been a bit of a time away. I’m sure you’ll all just be easy on me today and I can answer questions on my favorite color and such. I have a couple of items at the top, and then we’ll, of course, get to all of your questions.

First, Secretary Kerry will be traveling to Vilnius, Paris, and London September 6th through the 9th. He will travel to Lithuania, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union on September 6th. That’s, of course, tomorrow. On September 7th, Secretary Kerry will meet in Vilnius with senior Lithuanian Government officials to discuss a range of issues, including regional cooperation, energy diversification, and EU presidency priorities, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the EU Eastern Partnership. Secretary Kerry will also meet with the EU foreign ministers in an informal session hosted by the Lithuanians to discuss the Middle East, including Syria, Egypt, and the ongoing direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

He will then travel to France on September 7th. While in Paris he will meet with senior French Government officials to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues. And on September 8th, he will also meet with representatives of the Arab League. He will finally end his trip with travel to the United Kingdom, and on September 9th in London he will meet with senior U.K. Government officials to discuss a broad range of issues on the transatlantic and global agenda. And while in London, he will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas to discuss a range of issues, including ongoing direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

And the second piece I just had at the top is that we also want to strongly condemn today’s assassination attempt against the interim Interior Minister in Egypt. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. We also wish a speedy recovery to all those who suffered injuries. The perpetrators of this heinous attack must be brought to justice. We understand the facts are still emerging and we don’t know yet who is responsible, but we know the Egyptian Government is continuing to look into these events.

QUESTION: All right, let’s start with Syria.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: I don’t think that’s a --

QUESTION: Can we just take – go to travel first? There’s one thing I wanted to follow up on that. With the Arab League, who –

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- what does the Secretary expect to discuss with the Arab League? Is it Israeli-Palestinian stuff? Is it Syria? Is it all of the above?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the purpose of the meeting is to meet with the Follow-On Committee, as he’s talked about meeting to continue to provide updates on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But there’s no doubt given the events in the world that, of course, the events in Syria and mutual concern about that will come up.

QUESTION: And it has been --

QUESTION: So let’s just --

MS. PSAKI: We’ll get around, Said.

QUESTION: Can I – on Syria --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- specifically, policy-wise, I’m assuming, given the Secretary’s powerful testimony yesterday and the day before, plus his very powerful speeches that he gave on Friday and Monday, that he still feels the same way that he did last week. And so what I don’t understand, though, is how he is comfortable with the President’s decision.

I understand the President is the Commander-in-Chief and that everyone is going to get onboard with whatever he decides, but I don’t understand why he is so full-throatedly in favor of this. He, over the weekend, said the President was acting courageously by taking this to Congress, and I don’t understand what is courageous about asking permission for something that you say you don’t need to do what you believe to be the right thing, not just morally but in general.

MS. PSAKI: Well --

QUESTION: Can you explain why this is a courageous move and – or why the Secretary would call it a courageous move?

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly let me first say, of course, the Secretary does feel how he did on Friday, how he did on Sunday, that targeted intervention is absolutely the right step, and he does support the President’s decision to bring this to Congress. And --

QUESTION: So was there some kind of, like, group spine removal procedure at the White House over the weekend? I don’t understand. How does – how is this courageous?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, obviously the President has the authority to act without the cooperation of Congress, but the President and the Secretary strongly agreed that when the Administration and the people’s representatives stand together that that strengthens our case and makes our case even stronger internationally.

QUESTION: Right. But --

MS. PSAKI: And --

QUESTION: Go ahead.

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead.

QUESTION: No – well, if the Administration firmly believes the case that it has laid out – right?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: If the President has made a decision that the United States should act militarily, if the Administration believes that it doesn’t need congressional authorization to do it and, in fact, reserves the right to go ahead and do it even if Congress were to vote no, why – it would seem that the only reason to go to Congress then would be to give the President an excuse or a reason not to act.

MS. PSAKI: That’s absolutely not the case. The President has made --

QUESTION: So the Secretary is totally sure and is very comfortable with this decision and does not believe that the President is sacrificing the courage of his convictions for political expediency in this case?

MS. PSAKI: Absolutely not. And quite to the contrary, let’s not forget where the Secretary was just eight months ago. He wasn’t in Foggy Bottom, he wasn’t in this building. He was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. And if this were a series of events that happened a year ago, I can bet you that he would have wanted congressional approval and congressional authorization for any step that was taken. He has consistently been an advocate since he came into this position for consulting with and working closely with Congress, and certainly supported, as he said this weekend, the President’s decision to take the time to do just that.

And the last thing I’ll just add here on this point, and then we’ll go to your next question, is as the President has said, as the Secretary said, but I’ll repeat this again, the Department of Defense has made clear that unlike Libya, where there was an impending crisis coming within 48 hours, that this is a case where, if we take action in a week, if we take action in two weeks or a month, that we can still have a successful action and outcome. And that was an assurance that we could take the time to go to Congress and strengthen our hand.

QUESTION: So in the case of Libya, then, you’re saying you acted to save lives, but here you’re acting – you don’t – you’re not acting to save lives. That’s already happened. You don’t believe that you can save more lives by acting quicker?

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly the reason the President and the Secretary feel so strongly about taking action is to send the clear message that there are consequences to the use of chemical weapons, to violating this international norm.

QUESTION: Right. But you’re aware --

MS. PSAKI: That’s why they want to act.

QUESTION: Well, yeah. But acting later rather than sooner would seem to risk – put more lives at risk, rather than to save them. If you believe that military action will deter Assad from using chemical weapons again, then it seems to me you would want to do it sooner rather than later because more people – and the Secretary said yesterday he was 100 percent sure that Assad – if nothing was done Assad would use them again.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, you always --

QUESTION: Are you making the calculation that Assad, if he just thinks that something is about to happen, won’t – that’s a deterrent as well?

MS. PSAKI: Matt, you always evaluate all the factors when making a decision. That’s exactly like this, with – this serious, which is exactly what the President and the national security team did. And certainly we rely on the advice of the Department of Defense and their statements they have made privately, of course, and publicly that this is not a – we can have a successful outcome with an action that doesn’t have an immediate deadline.

QUESTION: But if the timeline that was presented by U.S. officials is correct that the President made this decision on Friday night during his stroll in the garden with his Chief of Staff, can you say that Secretary Kerry advocated, told the President that he thought, in his best judgment, it was the right thing to do to go to Congress and get their approval first? Is that what you’re saying?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Secretary and the President spoke on --

QUESTION: After he had made the case --

MS. PSAKI: -- on Friday evening, and the Secretary certainly told him that he would support his decision. And let’s not --

QUESTION: Well, I know that. Clearly, he’s not going to – he can’t not follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief. I get that.

MS. PSAKI: But it’s more than that --

QUESTION: But did he counsel --

MS. PSAKI: -- that the Secretary supported this decision. And the Secretary has consistently advocated for congressional consultation and participation throughout not just this process, but any other international process.

QUESTION: It’s just hard to understand because on Friday and before that on Monday, he made a very convincing and very powerful case for action without the need for congressional approval. And then all of a sudden, he’s saying that the President is courageous for --

MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe that the Secretary said in his remarks anything along the lines of “immediate” or “without congressional participation” when he delivered the remarks he did on Friday.

QUESTION: No, but he didn’t say that he thought it was a good idea to go to Congress, and so there was no indication that that was going to happen until this little stroll on the White House lawn. Anyway, if you can assure us that he’s comfortable with the decision, then that’s the end of my line on this.

MS. PSAKI: I absolutely can.

QUESTION: One quick follow-up on this.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Did the Secretary – did the President consult the Secretary about going to Congress to seek an authorization for the use of military force prior to the President’s decision to do so? Or was it a consultation after the decision to do so, in which the Secretary said that he would, of course, support that decision?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m not going to go into too many levels of specifics here, but I can tell you that, of course, there have been reports that the Secretary and President – the President spoke on Friday evening that they had – this was a big part of that discussion. The Secretary conveyed clearly that he would support this decision. And of course, as you know, that announcement was made on Saturday. So that was the course and series of events over the last couple of days.

QUESTION: But you can’t address whether that conversation took place prior to or after this President’s decision?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there’s a range of topics, including how you’re going to go about this, that come about in any meeting or discussion about Syria or any serious national security issue, I should say, including the process. So that was certainly a part of it ongoing, but that’s the level of detail I’m going to go into.

QUESTION: Okay. The reason I ask, and then I’ll stop, is that there is an impression among some people based on the briefing that I guess was given at the White House on Saturday that the President, as Matt suggested, made the decision in concert with or after his walk with Denis McDonough, and then essentially informed his senior national security advisors. And I’m giving you an opportunity to dispel that notion that it was the President’s decision that was subsequently sort of briefed to the top national security officials rather than one made in consultation with them.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the challenge I’m having is that I don’t want to get into how the President makes his own decision making. So I’m just trying to provide you with the factual details of the course of events. And naturally, the President and the Secretary have been lockstep on this issue, and the Secretary obviously went out on Friday and made the case for the Administration. He went out on Sunday and made the case for the Administration to the American people. He’s been out the last two days testifying, I think seven hours or so, making the case.

QUESTION: And just on factual matters --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- can you tell us what time the President and the Secretary spoke on Friday night?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have that level of detail. I’m happy to check if that’s something we have available.

QUESTION: Just kind of taking that forward --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: I mean, as you’ve been – as everyone’s been saying, I mean, the Secretary made this kind of forceful, emotional, personal case and kind of put the impression in a lot of people’s minds that this was imminent, that this was happening right away, that while the President did not make a decision on targets on exactly what he was going to do, that a decision was made that some type of action would be taken in the near future. And then the impression was that that was kind of put on hold for a while in the effort to seek congressional opinion.

So what does that do to the Secretary’s efforts to build international support among allies? There are many, particularly in the Arab world and some in Europe, that say that this is another case of these delays, that the U.S. does not mean what it says, and that this is a sign of weakness and we really can’t trust the Administration. And how does that hurt the Secretary’s efforts to get countries on board when they don’t really know what’s happening?

MS. PSAKI: Well, one, the Secretary has spent endless hours in touch with his counterparts around the world making sure they do know exactly what’s happening. And as you know because I just announced it at the top of this briefing, part of his discussion this weekend – when he’s in Europe, when he’s meeting with EU leaders, when he’s meeting with representatives of the Arab League – will certainly be about exactly this issue.

I can say to you that the case that the Secretary made on Friday morning was focused on why we needed to take action, why it was an important step, why we feel confident in the details of our own intelligence. And part of our effort, and something he’s felt strongly about, is to convey to the American people why that’s so important. But the decision to go to Congress, which, as you all know, is one that the President made, and the President made on Friday evening as the White House has confirmed, is one that the Secretary agrees will strengthen our hand, will show clear cooperation and clear – make – that we’re all on the same page here in the United States.

QUESTION: I agree that – can I just – a quick follow-up, Jo?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm, go ahead.

QUESTION: I agree that he – I’m sure that he agrees that it would strengthen the hand if the Congress votes for it.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: But this kind of deliberation and some of the opposition in Congress, you could – could you acknowledge that that might make allies who are afraid that if – although you say you have the authorization to act without Congress, that this debate could weaken U.S. resolve to act if the debate does not go the way you planned.

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re not getting into hypotheticals. That’s not what we’re planning for. The Secretary is confident, the President is confident that Congress will support this effort. We’ve been building that support over the past several days, and the Secretary will continue to play a role in making that case to his former colleagues.

QUESTION: But you can see where allies would be – that you’re asking to join, whether it be military support or political support – would be skeptical. I mean, when he goes to meet with countries, what is his ask of these countries? Is it “Join the coalition, we’re taking action, we need help”? Is it “Speak out more, we need more political support, say that you agree with us”?

What specifically is he looking for? And does this kind of holdup – and it is a holdup, even if it eventually goes through – what does that do to strengthen or weaken his case?

MS. PSAKI: Well, his message, when he’s speaking to his counterparts around the world, is that it’s important that we speak with one international voice of condemnation of the brutal attack of the Assad regime. And that’s the message he is conveying to them. He’s asking, as the President asked on Saturday, for people to speak publicly, for countries to speak publicly about their support. That’s something we’re certainly continuing to encourage. Nine countries have publicly and very explicitly expressed support for U.S. military action, and that’s something that we are continuing to work on.

QUESTION: Jen, I wanted to ask, following up from that: It is a tough sell in Congress. It’s not a given. You’re talking almost like it’s a given that it’s going to go through. What’s the next plan if it doesn’t go through? What if this is – fails? Are you just going to then walk away and wash your hands of the Syria crisis?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me say first that certainly this is one specific component of our overall Syria strategy and our focus on the brutal civil war that’s going on in the country, and it’s specific to this incident of chemical weapons use. Beyond that, we remain focused on a political solution. That’s something we continue to work toward. The national security team will continue to discuss a range of options. And that’s all ongoing as we’re focused on moving forward this one particular vote. Our – we are confident that this vote is going to be approved.

QUESTION: Based on what?

MS. PSAKI: We are confident through our conversations, through working with members of Congress. We are confident that they are not going to stand by and allow this brutal attack to go unanswered.

QUESTION: But then is the United States going to stand by – if Congress says no – and the indications, despite what you’re saying, are that it’s not going to go through the House at the moment. It may go through the Senate, but it’s not going to go through the House at the moment. So if they say no, are you going to stand by and let the attack go unanswered?

MS. PSAKI: Well, a vote in the House has not even been set. The Secretary will continue to be in touch with a wide range of members in the House and Senate. And beyond that, I’m not going to get into hypothetical of what could or couldn’t happen down the road. We’re just continuing to press toward a successful outcome.

QUESTION: So on the political tract, where are with Geneva – with the Geneva conference? There are some rumors flying around the United Nations that it could be set for October, announcement could come soon, and that this is a deal that you’ve crafted with the Russians, although I find that hard to believe at the moment, given the state of Russia-U.S. relations, in a bid to just push the opposition and the government to the table.

MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s important to note that even though we’re focused here, and the Secretary is focused every day on working a – working with Congress and working on building our international coalition for this specific targeted action, that we still continue to believe that there’s no military solution, and we do remain focused on Geneva and using that as a venue for a negotiated political settlement. We are still working through the details and the process. Right before I came down here, the Secretary spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov. It was too close to the time I was coming down here to give you all an overview of their discussion, but I’m happy to do that later today.

QUESTION: Jen, do you –

QUESTION: When was the last time they spoke, actually?

QUESTION: I wanted to take you back – I want to take you back to –

MS. PSAKI: Let me just finish Jo’s question, Said, and then I’m happy to go to you next.

I’d have to check on that. I’m happy to do that as well, Jo, for you.

QUESTION: But it’s specifically about getting Geneva back on track, is it?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m sure that their shared agreement that a political solution is the right process, is the right outcome here, is part of the – was part of the discussion. Of course, Syria was a focus, but beyond that I don’t want to – I haven’t received the readout yet.

Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: I mean, can you just – on the Geneva point –

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: I mean, I know that you’ve said that you don’t want this – any military action to kind of wade further into the civil war, but is the hope that whatever action is taken that it will weaken Assad significantly enough that there’s more an incentive for the parties to get together in Geneva?

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly, as General Dempsey has said over the past couple days, we do believe that this would have an impact, of course, on the strength of Assad’s resources, and that’s part of it. But this is a direct response, of course, to – as you know, to the use of chemical weapons, and we do believe that it would degrade the regime’s capacity to carry it out in the future. In terms of whether it will force them to come to Geneva or not, I don’t have a prediction of that. Obviously part of what we’re discussing with the Russians and others is how we can get both sides back to the table.

QUESTION: But I mean, do you really think that, like, any action that you take should be completely divorced of any policy goals and any benefit? I mean, the Secretary talks about possible downstream benefits, but that would be a specific benefit of – to capture momentum to further your policy goal of a political solution.

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly, and I didn’t mean it – it certainly will have an impact on the – it certainly would have an impact on the capabilities of the Assad regime. I just don’t want to predict what’s going to bring every side to the table, but that’s part of, of course, the ongoing discussion.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

MS. PSAKI: Let’s just do one at a time here.

QUESTION: Can we do a political – I mean, staying with the political track --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: -- how, if at all, do you think a military strike enhances the chances for political dialogue between the Syrian Government and the opposition?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Arshad, as we’ve said a few times, but it’s worth repeating, the purpose of this is to make clear we will not stand by and allow this type of brutal attack by the Assad regime on its own people.

QUESTION: Chemical weapons?

MS. PSAKI: Exactly.

QUESTION: Quite.

MS. PSAKI: Chemical weapons on its own people. In terms of bringing all sides to the table, I think what our hope is is that we can work to a point where there’s a recognition by all sides that there isn’t a military solution, that we don’t want to continue on a path where there’s a military component of this. We want to work toward a political solution.

QUESTION: But the Secretary had said himself that he doesn’t see Assad going for a political solution until this – until his calculus is changed, so is this going to – is this action, whatever, even if it is just in response to the chemical weapons, shouldn’t it change his calculus?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I don’t want to predict what it’s going to change or not. It will certainly impact his capabilities. It certainly would do that. That’s part of our calculus.

QUESTION: What I don’t understand here, though –

QUESTION: (Inaudible) perception here – the assumption that the strike will or will not convince Assad that perhaps talks are the best solution?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, I can’t predict what would convince him. What I can convey to you is that we feel this is important because of the brutal attack on August 21st. And we’re working on a parallel path to continue to work with our counterparts in Russia and other countries to bring both sides to the table.

QUESTION: Okay. But to follow on what Elise was saying –

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- isn’t it logical that you want to take action not only to punish, but actually to bring about some sort of a political solution? Shouldn’t there be a strategy that can tie the two together?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there are different components of our strategy. This is what I was getting at. This is specific to the brutal events on August 21st. We’re obviously continuing to work toward a political solution. As I mentioned, the Secretary just spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov. At the same time, the President, the national security team all remain focused on the best way to bolster and strengthen the opposition, and we’re working on that as well.

QUESTION: So if Assad were to have a revelation or a vision that chemical weapons are a bad thing and perhaps the time has come to turn them in, do you think that would impact whatever plans and strategy the U.S. may have to strike Syria?

MS. PSAKI: Well, if you can arrange that, Said, we’d certainly –

QUESTION: No. I’m not – I’m asking you – I’m asking a serious question. I’m not (inaudible) --

MS. PSAKI: And I understand. I’m not going to get into a hypothetical --

QUESTION: But –

MS. PSAKI: -- that’s not clearly what – the path we’re on right now.

QUESTION: If – okay. Let me ask it another way.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: If this whole frenzy, whatever you want to call, or this intense discussion that has taken place about a strike, if it is to actually convince Assad not to use chemical weapons in the future, not to resort to them, if in – if he comes out and says, “Look, I made a mistake,” or whatever, “I don’t – I didn’t use chemical weapons, and here they are,” would that in any way, in your opinion – as someone who speaks on behalf of the Administration, in your opinion, would that shift the Administration’s thinking?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Said, that’s still a hypothetical. I’m taking your question very seriously. We know who used chemical weapons. We don’t have a doubt about that. The Secretary has stated it clearly. Fourteen hundred people died in this attack. And we’re proceeding accordingly, because we want to deter this kind of behavior – if it has that impact, of course that’s positive – and degrade the regime’s capacity to carry it out again.

QUESTION: Okay. Now, on this very point that you talked about we know who did it and so on, now, I remember on the 28th --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- the Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence Mark Rogers, he said that the evidence was convincing but not compelling, and two days later the Secretary came and made a very impassioned case, and said it was compelling. So did he – was he able to submit further evidence to the Select Committee to convince them? Because they seem to be exactly where they were on the 28th. They have not said that the case is truly compelling and we have – we know beyond reasonable doubt that it is actually the regime that did it.

MS. PSAKI: Well, a number of members have come out in support of this effort over the last several days since the 28th. But I will say that as part of our consultation with Congress, the Secretary has been participating in and leading classified briefings as well. That’s part of our effort to make sure that the people’s representatives have all of the information we can possibly provide. And that’s part of the consultation. Some of those happened this week.

QUESTION: Does the Administration --

MS. PSAKI: Oh, I’ll go to you, Roz, next, if that’s okay.

QUESTION: Sure.

QUESTION: Sorry, just a fairly minor detail --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: -- I suppose, in some way. But according to Der Spiegel today, the German magazine, the German intelligence believes that in fact the alleged attack was a mistake, that the gas mixture was not diluted enough and that’s why it was – that so many people died. Is that consistent at all with what you’ve heard, and would that change at all the U.S. calculus on --

MS. PSAKI: I haven’t seen that report, actually, but we’ve been pretty clear, and obviously we’ve provided information about our own intel assessments. That hasn’t changed.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: When was the last time that the Secretary spoke with the Special Representative, Mr. Brahimi? And I ask because he has been summoned to St. Petersburg to work with the Secretary General to try to push for a Geneva 2, and this --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- has happened in the last 12 hours.

MS. PSAKI: Well, in addition to the Secretary, there are other senior officials, including Under Secretary Sherman and others who have been working closely with counterparts at the UN and Russia. So I’m not sure when the last conversation was, but I’m only conveying that because he’s not the only one who speaks to UN officials, of course.

QUESTION: But given the fact that the Secretary General requested Mr. Brahimi --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- leave overnight and join him there to try to push for some sort of political resolution, does that indicate that perhaps this political track is now moving more quickly, given that the U.S. is prepared to move ahead militarily if it decides that that’s what needs to be done in light of August 21st?

MS. PSAKI: I just don’t want to analyze what their reasoning is. Obviously, we remain committed to the political solution. We’d like a Geneva conference to happen as soon as is possible. I don’t have any update on that, but of course any efforts to move that forward we’d certainly support.

QUESTION: Jen, can I just – when you endeavor to get the more detailed readout of the Lavrov call --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- can you specifically ask if the comments that President Putin made in which he called the Secretary a liar, if that came up or if that something that’s just water under the bridge now?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me say on that, I’m happy to check what is possible to share from that conversation. But let me say on the specific comments, since you gave me the opportunity, that Secretary Kerry is, as you all know, a decorated combat veteran. He’s had more words aimed – more than words aimed at him. So he’s not losing sleep after such a preposterous comment that was based on an inaccurate quote and was completely mischaracterized.

QUESTION: All right. Thank you for that. And can you just check and see if he raised this with Lavrov or if he thinks that it’s no – not really worth pursuing?

The argument has been made that not acting would damage not only this President’s credibility but the U.S. credibility in – as a whole and future presidents’ credibility as well. That is still the argument the Administration is making to Congress, correct?

MS. PSAKI: We are certainly making the case that we need to hold the regime accountable, that there are future consequences of inaction.

QUESTION: Right. So a “no” vote risks U.S. credibility then?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think --

QUESTION: What I’m getting at --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- and I know that you’re confident you’re going to get the votes --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- but it goes back to my earlier question, because if you – if a “no” vote would in fact hurt your credibility, and not acting at all would hurt your credibility, that would suggest that you were go ahead and do it --

MS. PSAKI: Well --

QUESTION: -- anyway --

MS. PSAKI: Well, I – just to be --

QUESTION: -- even if there was a specific denial of authorization.

MS. PSAKI: Just to be clear, I didn’t use the word “credibility.”

QUESTION: No, the Secretary did, though. He’s used it many, many times, especially last week.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: And that’s why I don’t understand why he – on Friday afternoon, he got up and made this great impassioned case and said that we’re going to lose credibility if we don’t act, and then the next day all the sudden it was, like, well, mmm, eh, the President is being courageous by going to Congress.

MS. PSAKI: Well, he’s --

QUESTION: It just --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: The problem I’m having is that I don’t understand how this is not an exercise in giving the President political cover not to do what he said he would do.

MS. PSAKI: If the President of the United States and the Secretary and the national security team didn’t feel confident this was the right step and they weren’t going to press with every bone in their body to make this vote happen and have a successful outcome, they would not have been as strongly out there this weekend.

QUESTION: Right. Well – and I understand that, but just the decision to go to Congress when you say that you don’t need to puts at risk the credibility of this President, of the Administration, and of future administrations. Correct?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me --

QUESTION: Doesn’t it?

MS. PSAKI: Let me flip a positive, if I may here, Matt, is that the benefit of going to Congress and having a successful vote is that you are showing the unity between the representatives of the American public and the Executive Branch.

QUESTION: And you think what we saw yesterday shows – is a big display of unity between the Administration and representatives of the American public?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we certainly know there’s a range of opinions in Congress --

QUESTION: Well, I don’t see how that strengthens the –

MS. PSAKI: -- but we’re looking towards what the final vote is.

QUESTION: In fact, even if the vote is yes, if it’s split as badly as it seems, I see that – I don’t see how that is this overwhelming endorsement. In fact, it would hurt the endorsement, which is why I don’t understand how the President – I mean, how the Secretary is comfortable with the President’s decision to, quote/unquote, “act courageously” by going to Congress to get permission for something that he thinks is – says is morally right, that he has a moral obligation to do. I just don’t get it. I mean, when Falstaff said the better part of valor is discretion, Shakespeare meant it as a joke. It’s not intended to be the way you go about being courageous.

MS. PSAKI: Shakespeare quotes, I love it.

QUESTION: So I – that’s – I just – I can’t – that’s what I can’t understand about this. Because a no – it would seem to me that a no vote gives the President political cover not to follow the – not to do what he has said he thinks he should do, especially if he’s going to go ahead and do it anyway.

MS. PSAKI: Well, what’s --

QUESTION: Right? So the only reason to go to Congress, then, would be to get a no vote, and say, well, Congress said no, and just like the British Parliament said no, I have to do what the American people want me to do.

MS. PSAKI: I can assure you that the goal of all members of the Administration is to get a yes vote --

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: -- and they are going to Congress because they made the calculation, which was courageous, that we – that this would strengthen our hand and show the international community that the representatives of the American people, that the Executive Branch, all support action.

QUESTION: All right. But it sounds as though --

QUESTION: Can I --

QUESTION: -- if this is, in fact, a courageous move, that --

MS. PSAKI: (inaudible)

QUESTION: -- the President would go ahead and do – would order the military strikes anyway, even if Congress specifically said no. Is that correct?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I don’t have any – we’re confident that Congress is going to move forward and --

QUESTION: The question, though is – and I’d leave you this, and --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- I’ll stop after this, but I do have one logistical question.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: It will be very easy to answer.

MS. PSAKI: We’ll see.

QUESTION: The question I would leave you with on this is: Why risk it? Why risk the credibility of the United States on a vote that is not certain?

MS. PSAKI: Because they made the calculation it was worth it because having representatives of the American people’s – representatives of the American people stand with the Executive Branch and say this is the right step sends a powerful message.

QUESTION: All right. Now that – I just – last one, and this is a factual thing, should be easy to answer: You mentioned nine countries that have --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- come out in support --

MS. PSAKI: You would like the countries?

QUESTION: Yes, but not only that; I would like, really, a more detailed explanation. The Secretary, yesterday on the Hill, said that 10 countries --

QUESTION: At least 10.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

QUESTION: -- at least 10 countries had offered to not just support but to participate.

MS. PSAKI: Well, there’s a couple different buckets we’re talking about. So that --

QUESTION: I know. But I’m talking about the “at least 10” and what you say is nine today, and plus --

MS. PSAKI: Well, the United States is a country.

QUESTION: -- I assume the United States counts as – yes, exactly. So that’s 10.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: And when he said 10, he meant to include the U.S.?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think he was talking about something slightly different, but --

QUESTION: Well, I don’t – I mean, he said that they were – that these countries, these 10 countries --

MS. PSAKI: I should say with the 30 countries --

QUESTION: -- had volunteered --

MS. PSAKI: -- with the 30 – let me try to answer your question and see if I can get there.

QUESTION: Go ahead and give us the nine that add to the U.S. and make 10.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. Australia, Albania, Kosovo, Canada, Denmark, France, Poland, Romania, and Turkey.

QUESTION: Kosovo? That’s a new one.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. Those nine have agreed to do what? To support this --

MS. PSAKI: Have publicly and explicitly expressed support for U.S. military action.

QUESTION: So political support, but not to actually participate in?

MS. PSAKI: Correct. But --

QUESTION: Okay. And then what are the 10, the “at least 10” – well, the nine, I guess, or at least nine, if the United States is part of it, that have agreed to take part?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’d have to look back at the quote. I think he was referring in that specific case to the countries that have publicly said they supported our decision. I know he said also 30, right? Or --

QUESTION: Thirty-one.

QUESTION: Thirty-four.

MS. PSAKI: Thirty-one. So obviously, as you know, our discussions with countries are, of course, ongoing. You’ve seen the Secretary’s list of calls he’s made. We’ve tried to put them out on a daily basis. And as you know, this will be part of the conversation this weekend. We’re not going to publicly announce for countries that haven’t publicly said they support our efforts or they’re going to contribute to our efforts on their behalf, as I’m sure won’t surprise any of you.

But as the Secretary, I believe, has said during his testimony, we certainly have enough military support to move forward. This isn’t the type of action that would be – require significant military support. So a big part of what we’re talking about here is, as the President said on Saturday and as we’ve talked a little bit about, kind of a unified condemnation of these actions and an agreement on the appropriate steps forward.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Just so we’re clear --

MS. PSAKI: I promise I’ll get to --

QUESTION: What about the financial support --

QUESTION: Two --

QUESTION: -- the financial supporting of other countries?

QUESTION: Can you just repeat the list again? Because it’s different than the one that I was given earlier.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. Australia, Albania, Kosovo, Canada, Denmark, France, Poland, Romania, and Turkey.

QUESTION: And Bosnia is not on there?

MS. PSAKI: No.

QUESTION: Okay. One --

QUESTION: So what about the financial support from other countries?

MS. PSAKI: Let’s just – let me just continue --

QUESTION: I just want to – please. Yeah.

MS. PSAKI: -- with Arshad, and then we’ll get to you right next. And then we’ll get to you.

QUESTION: So your understanding is the Secretary’s “at least 10” reference was to countries that have pledged political support?

MS. PSAKI: Who have stated publicly that they support the United States decision to take military action.

QUESTION: Right, but not that they would actually take part in it. That is not what he was trying to say.

MS. PSAKI: Well, but what I wanted to convey separately from that is that there are – and I don’t have a number specifically on this for you, but obviously, there are a lot of private conversations that take place about countries’ willingness to participate in a variety of ways, whether that’s military support, financial support, public support, and I’m just not going to read out for other countries what conversations they’ve had privately.

QUESTION: So let me clarify, then --

QUESTION: And then one --

QUESTION: -- just because this is important to get the terminology --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- and numbers right. Sorry to cut across you. But – so you’re saying that there are nine countries that have expressed support with the U.S. taking military action --

MS. PSAKI: Publicly.

QUESTION: -- an unspecified number who have offered to support that if needed?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: And then when Kerry talks separately – and I believe the number was 34, he said, to the House committee yesterday – he’s talking about countries that are joining the condemnation of Syria, right? He’s not – because that’s a much bigger number, and I’m unclear how we get to nine – to 34.

MS. PSAKI: Sure, and – okay. Let me try to answer that for you. At least 80 countries or organizations acknowledge chemical weapons use, and of those, more than 50 have said so publicly. At least 30 countries or organizations have stated in public or private that the Assad regime is responsible. And then nine countries.

QUESTION: But (inaudible) their evidence from where? I mean, independently they arrived at that conclusion using their own assets, intelligence assets, using --

MS. PSAKI: I can’t speak for the decision of any particular country. Obviously --

QUESTION: Right. But you said like 50 --

MS. PSAKI: -- every country has different resources, and there’s countries we share information with, countries other countries share information with, so I can’t begin to --

QUESTION: But it is – are they – I’m asking to see whether the U.S. is the source of their intelligence that they’ve used, or they did it independently.

MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly we share information with some countries, as you know. But it depends country to country.

QUESTION: And he did actually yesterday talk about people volunteering to take part, of which included France, and then he --

QUESTION: Denmark, Poland, and Turkey.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Okay, and then he also talked about other countries who’d stepped forward which are not on your list, which included Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well. Now, are they the ones who are – because you talked about the Arab League being willing to support them financially --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- which goes to what Arshad wanted to ask, so do you – could you give us a list of those countries who want to financially support the – any action that takes place on part of the United States. And also, do we have a kind of ballpark figure of how much it would cost?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me take the first question first – does make sense. I – there may be countries that decide they want to make a public statement. I certainly saw the Secretary’s remarks yesterday but I don’t have anything further to add to it. Obviously, part of his conversation with representatives of the Arab League will certainly be about Syria, given events, but I don’t have any public announcements to make on their behalf.

QUESTION: Can I follow up on something Jo had asked?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: You – which is the question of what if the Congress doesn’t vote. The Secretary yesterday – doesn’t vote in favor – the Secretary, and I can’t remember now if it was yesterday or the day before but I think it was yesterday --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- said that it was too dire, quote, “Too dire to contemplate” the possibility of defeat on this. Why is it so dire, indeed, too dire to contemplate?

MS. PSAKI: Because he feels, from the bottom of his soul, that making clear to the Assad Regime that this is unacceptable, that we won’t stand by and allow chemical weapons to be used is something we need convey, and that this is the way to do that.

QUESTION: But the – everybody from the President on down has made amply clear that the President believes that he has the authority, regardless of what Congress decides --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- to act, should he deem it so necessary. So, he can act regardless of what Congress does --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- so why is it so dire? I mean, the President can go ahead and do this, as he said he thinks it should be done.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: So you can send the signal that this is wrong --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- even if you don’t have members of Congress with you. So why is it so dire?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as the President said yesterday, he wouldn’t be going through this process and working to achieve congressional support as a symbolic gesture. He thinks it’s important to send the message to the world that we stand together. So, the Secretary wasn’t attempting to make a prediction, he was just conveying the consequences of inaction, and that members of Congress have in their ability the – have in their hands the ability to make a decision to support this action, send that message.

QUESTION: Right, but the issue is less about messages and more about action, right?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: And the action can be taken by the President – the President believes he has the authority to do what he believes should be done here.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: So, I still don’t understand why it’s too dire to contemplate losing a congressional vote, which you have said doesn’t tie the President’s hands at all.

MS. PSAKI: Well, the President has said that, but I’m not making a prediction because our focus is on getting support.

QUESTION: And so we’re clear, I’m not trying --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- to get you to make a prediction.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: I’m not trying to get you to box the President in by --

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: -- saying, well even if the President loses this --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- he will still do it.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: What I don’t understand is what’s so dire about losing it if he can still do it and act, and convey to Assad and to other potential users of weapons of mass destruction that this is wrong.

MS. PSAKI: Well, it’s clear that that’s not the preferred course, otherwise we wouldn’t – the Secretary wouldn’t have spent the last two days up on Capitol Hill.

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: And all he was conveying was the importance of action here, the fact that inaction, in his view, is unacceptable, and why people should support this effort. It was nothing more than that.

QUESTION: But here, the thing is, is the preferred course – I mean, the Secretary spent the last few days up there because the President told him to.

MS. PSAKI: Well --

QUESTION: So his preferred course was made abundantly clear to us last week by him – he, himself, in his two speeches.

MS. PSAKI: Matt, I think you’re – I don’t – if you can quote me back the Secretary saying, “I would be absolutely opposed to any consultation with Congress” --

QUESTION: No, no, no.

MS. PSAKI: -- and that would be outrageous.

QUESTION: He didn’t say that. No, but that’s kind of disingenuous there, because the – a consultation with Congress is a lot different than going and seeking an affirmative vote of authorization.

MS. PSAKI: I – seeking an affirmative.

QUESTION: Anyway, do you know offhand how many members of the United Nations there are?

MS. PSAKI: I’m sure --

QUESTION: Roughly about, it’s about 190, something like that?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have the exact number, but yes.

QUESTION: What do you attribute the fact that only – that only, out of those 190-odd members of sovereign countries in the world, fewer than half have condemned this, and fewer than that, 30 of those, have not even condemned it publically? What, what does that – what does that tell you, if anything?

MS. PSAKI: Well Matt, I can’t obviously speak for any of these countries; I know you’re not asking me to do that. Consultations are, of course, ongoing, both – we’re participating in them, the USUN is participating in them, many countries that I’ve listed are in touch with a lot of the countries who haven’t stated publicly as well.

QUESTION: Is it disappointing to you that in the face of a chemical weapons attack, a horrific attack that violates international principles, you cannot cobble together even close to the number of countries to join you that the Bush Administration got for its war in Iraq, which ended up being fought on false pretenses? Does that bother you at all?

MS. PSAKI: Well Matt, we’re still – this is a work in progress. We are still consulting with other countries, we’re still briefing other countries, and we will continue to build support in the days and weeks ahead. Go ahead.

QUESTION: What was the basis for Secretary Kerry’s claims yesterday that the Syrian opposition, quote, “Has become increasingly more defined by its moderation”? I think that today, you know, the New York Times had a video that sort of would show the other – things maybe going in the other way, almost an al-Qaida-type event, perhaps to the rebels’ behavior.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm. Well, let me first say about the video, the photo I should say, but of course part of the video that we are horrified by today’s photo in the New York Times, asserting that Syrian rebels are standing over regime soldiers getting ready to execute them. We can’t confirm the alleged perpetrators’ affiliations, but we strongly condemn summary executions by any party in Syria. We’ve reached out to opposition officials and we’re seeking more information at this time.

What the Secretary was talking about – and there was a back-and-forth, just the context I think is important here, about the belief that there is a large percentage of extremists in the opposition, and that is the claim by some and something that was a part of the congressional testimony. We’ve long expressed, as you know, our deep concerns about violent extremist element of the opposition and have been clear we’re not going to work with or support them. But what he was conveying is that there’s a broader majority that we believe we can empower in terms of strengthening a more moderate force. That’s who we’re working with. And so he was disputing some of the claims made at the hearing yesterday.

QUESTION: Gotcha. And can I ask one more?

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: Does the Secretary feel, having met President Assad personally in the past, that that – has that helped his efforts at all, perhaps in sort of guessing or helping predict maybe what his next move might be? And has he ever given any details to his staff about what that was like, that experience? Has that helped him at all?

MS. PSAKI: Well, there’s some very important context here because in 2009, four years ago, there was a belief by many that there was still a diplomatic route here in working with Assad and the regime. The Secretary, of course, was a prominent member of the Foreign Relation Committee. He was somebody who met with him to pursue that route.

Clearly, two years later, events changed. And the brutality on his own people, the now deaths of over a hundred thousand people has certainly changed his calculation. And you’ve heard the Secretary speak out clearly on his view on Assad. There’s just so many words and phrases – I don’t think I need to list them all for you – but I think the context in the course of events is important here.

QUESTION: I have one more numbers question, not on the countries.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: The Secretary also in his testimony yesterday talked about at least 11 chemical weapons attacks that the U.S. intel community could prove.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Can you be more specific? Dates, times – dates, places, and casualty numbers if you have them.

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more specifics for you.

QUESTION: Are there more specifics? How does this – where does this number come from?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any more specifics to add to what the Secretary said.

QUESTION: You can’t say where – did someone make it up?

MS. PSAKI: Clearly, we do our own assessments, but beyond that I don’t have any more details for you.

QUESTION: Well, if one were to ask the, I don’t know, DNI spokesperson, would they be able to provide more detail as to where and when these attacks took place?

MS. PSAKI: I certainly encourage you to ask them. I don’t know how --

QUESTION: But no, is this the Administration – I don’t want to waste --

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead. Okay.

QUESTION: -- my colleagues’ time by having them call up --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: -- whoever it is over there --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- and say – if they’re not going to answer it. Has the Administration decided that it’s going to keep secret the dates and times that it says it has proof that Assad used chemical weapons, other than this last one, because clearly we --

MS. PSAKI: Matt, over the course of the last several months --

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: -- we’ve made a great deal of information available, including an assessment that we sent out last Friday broadly. The Secretary has been briefing Congress – members of Congress in public and in classified briefings. And he has been an advocate for making as much information available as humanly possible.

QUESTION: All right. Okay. Well, is there some intelligence classification reason why these 11 – at least 11 attacks that he spoke of can’t be further detailed?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any reasoning for you aside to say that sometimes information cannot be released to protect sources and methods. And as we have more information we can release, I’m sure we will do just that.

QUESTION: Okay. Can you just say – can you confirm that it is the case that the Administration has concrete and what it regards is indisputable proof that Assad has used chemical weapons in at least 11 attacks?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any further confirmation --

QUESTION: Well, is --

MS. PSAKI: -- for you from here. I encourage you to contact --

QUESTION: Is that --

MS. PSAKI: -- my colleagues.

QUESTION: I don’t want a number. I just want to know, is the number correct? Is that --

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any confirmation or more for you on it.

QUESTION: So the number might not be correct?

MS. PSAKI: Matt, I don’t have any more details for you. And I certainly do encourage you to contact my colleagues over in the intel community.

QUESTION: Well, I would but I’m not sure I want to if they’re just going to tell me that it’s a secret and the reason it’s a secret is because we say so.

MS. PSAKI: I have to wrap this up soon here. I apologize.

QUESTION: Can I just --

QUESTION: Quick on Syria.

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: You mentioned – for the question on the rebels and their character and so on. Do you have an updated list of who these rebels are, their organizations? I mean, I’ve asked this question before --

MS. PSAKI: The moderate opposition we work with, or --

QUESTION: All the different groups. Do you have a list of the groups, and do you have them – they belong to this, they belong to that, they have affiliations with al-Qaida, not affiliation with al-Qaida? Do you list it like this?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe we have a public list along those lines, Said.

QUESTION: Can I go back to --

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead, Arshad.

QUESTION: I wanted to clarify one thing.

MS. PSAKI: Sure, go ahead.

QUESTION: I don’t think this should be hard, but I went and I looked at the exact quote regarding the 10 countries --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: And the Secretary said, quote, “There are at least 10 countries that have pledged to participate. We have not actually sought more for participation. We have sought people for support and there are many, many more, obviously, that support.”

So just so I understand it correctly, what you’re saying is that there are at least 10 countries that have pledged to participate, but you’re not going to identify those.

MS. PSAKI: That haven’t stated publicly their intention or how they would like to participate. And some of these nine who have publicly and explicitly expressed support for U.S. military action have said how they would like to participate.

QUESTION: Right. Okay, but the nine – again, it’s just have publicly supported U.S. military action.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: And the 10 who have pledged to participate --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- in the U.S. – in a U.S.-led military action, you can’t identify.

MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: And the reason is --

QUESTION: Except that some of them might be part of those nine, right?

MS. PSAKI: Sure. Some of --

QUESTION: Like France?

QUESTION: Yeah, okay.

MS. PSAKI: Well, some of them have publicly stated how they would like to --

QUESTION: Right.

MS. PSAKI: -- to be of assistance.

QUESTION: And --

QUESTION: One last one on Maaloula in Syria?

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: Any concern about extremist rebels entering one of the oldest Christian communities in Syria?

MS. PSAKI: I’d have to – I mean, we’re, of course, very concerned always about the actions of extremist elements, about violence that is undertaken at their hands. Beyond that, I’d have to check on anything more we have to add.

QUESTION: Do you have anything else on Maaloula today?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything more on it.

QUESTION: What --

MS. PSAKI: I’m sorry. I have to wrap this up because I have to go to a meeting with the Secretary.

QUESTION: Can you, after it’s over, put something out – a TQ on Brazil? Any reaction to President Rousseff calling off her advance team?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hm. Let me do that quickly here.

QUESTION: And also, do you care at all that Kenya has voted to remove itself from the ICC?

MS. PSAKI: Sure. Let me do these two. This, of course, was an announcement this morning, and for most comment I would, of course, refer to the White House, given this was a trip orchestrated there. We certainly value our relationship with Brazil. That is why we, of course, extended the invitation to President Rousseff to visit the United States. We continue – we look forward to continuing our vital relationship with Brazil and ongoing discussions. And as you all know, the President will, of course, be seeing President Rousseff at the G-20. But beyond that, I don’t have any further update at this point.

Let me give you a Kenya response as well, of course. Thank you for your patience here.

QUESTION: You could put this out on paper.

MS. PSAKI: All right. We’ll put out a Kenya – we’ll put out a response on paper.

Okay. Thanks, everyone.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:21 p.m.)

DPB # 148



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.