POLITICO: Lawmakers Say White House Syria Briefings A Flop

Source: Manu Raju / Politico

Sen. Joe Manchin raced to a secure location in West Virginia just before Labor Day and fielded a high-level classified phone call about Syria from President Barack Obama’s top aide.

The aide, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, laid out the administration’s case against the Assad regime, prompting Manchin to cancel a weeklong series of events back home and return to Washington to attend classified briefings.

The briefings helped solidify a decision in the Democrat’s mind: The White House’s plan to launch a military strike in Syria was precisely the wrong way to go.

“It never did rise to the level that the threat was imminent to the United States of America,” said Manchin, who drafted an alternative Syria plan with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). “And the reaction from our actions would have been a much greater risk to our country than an inaction at this time.”

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