Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he “almost wanted to vomit” after reading Russian President
Vladimir Putin’s terse New York Times op-edWednesday night.
Menendez said he received an email at dinner about Putin’s op-ed.
“I almost wanted to vomit,” Menendez told CNN Wednesday night. “I worry when someone who came up through the KGB tells us what is in our national interests, and what is not. It really raises the question of how serious the Russian proposal is.”
In the op-ed, Putin wrote that there was “every reason to believe” the chemical-weapons attack on Aug. 21 was perpetrated not by the Syrian government, but by rebel forces. The White House has presented evidence that says the attack was carried out by the Assad regime — and that it killed 1,429 people, including 426 children.
And the last paragraph of Putin’s op-ed slapped President Obama for a statement he made during his address on Syria Tuesday night, during which he said that America is “exceptional” because it is willing to act when no one else will to prevent human atrocities.
“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation,” Putin wrote.
Putin’s op-ed comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is travelling to Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday to discuss a diplomatic solution on Syria with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Here’s the clip:
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