(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Sept. 8 - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in an interview with ''CBS This Morning'' co-host Charlie Rose, denies he was behind a suspected chemical weapons attack, saying evidence was not conclusive there had been such an attack. Mana Rabiee reports.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denied he was behind a suspected chemical weapons attack that's now at the center of a possible U.S.-led military response against his regime. He spoke with "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose, who discussed his interview with Assad on CBS' "Face the Nation." SOUNDBITE: "CBS THIS MORNING" CO-HOST CHARLIE ROSE SAYING: "He denied that he had anything to do with the attack. He denied that he knew in fact that there was a chemical attack. Notwithstanding what has been said and notwithstanding the video tapes. He said there's no evidence yet to make a conclusive judgment." Rose said Assad did not know if there WOULD be a strike, but that he was "as prepared" as Syria could be. SOUNDBITE: "CBS THIS MORNING" CO-HOST CHARLIE ROSE SAYING: "He said, suggested, that there would be among people that are aligned with him some kind of retaliation if a strike was made." Rose said Assad was very concerned that an attack could degrade his military and could help TIP THE BALANCE in his protracted war with rebels, but… SOUNDBITE: "CBS THIS MORNING" CO-HOST CHARLIE ROSE SAYING: "He was calm. He knew the situation he was in. Damascus seemed calm. It was calm when I was there. They are watching what happens in Washington." And IN Washington, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough continued to press the Administration's case for military action, appearing on the Sunday talk shows - in the face of an uphill battle in Congress. Excerpts of Rose's interview with Assad will air Monday morning on CBS - and in its entirely on PBS that night.