Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks to Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning

Posted at 6:35 AM, Sep 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-09 06:38:31-04

(CBS) – CBS THIS MORNING Co-host Charlie Rose interviews Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his only television interview since President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve the use of force against the Syrian regime for alleged use of chemical weapons.

The interview is Assad’s first with an American television network in nearly two years.

Rose traveled to Damascus where he spoke with the Syrian leader at the Presidential Palace Sunday.

“He denied that he had anything to do with the attack. He denied that he knew in fact that there was a chemical attack. not withstanding what has been said and not withstanding the video tapes,” Rose said in a weekend phone interview. “He said there’s not evidence yet to make a conclusive judgement. He would not say even, even though I read him a paragraph NY times story on chemical weapons supply, He would not confirm or deny that he had chemical weapons. He did however say that if in fact we do have them, and I’m not going to say yes or no, they are in centralized control, so no one else has access to them.”

“Did he seem resigned to an attack?” CBS anchor Bob Schieffer asked Rose.

“That was the very first question I asked, Do you expect an attack. He said, I don’t know. He said we’ve prepared as best we can. He did not say he assumed there would be an attack in Syria because of the chemical weapons,” Rose responded.

Portions of the interview will be broadcast beginning Monday on CBS THIS MORNING.