Harf Scrambles to Defend Obama-Era Syria Chemical Weapons Deal, Says It Was Not 'Perfect'

April 12, 2017

Marie Harf, a Fox News contributor and former spokeswoman for Secretary of State John Kerry, scrambled on Wednesday to defend the Obama-era Syria deal from 2013, admitting it was not "perfect."

The Obama administration has come under fire after the Syrian regime launched a chemical weapon attack last week that killed more than 80 people. Obama, Kerry and others repeatedly claimed credit for a deal in 2013 that rid the country of its chemical weapons stockpile.

Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked Harf whether she agreed with President Trump's decision to order a military strike against Syria last week.

"I did. I thought it was a good response to President Assad's use of chemical weapons," Harf said. "What I'm more focused on now quite frankly is the strategy going forward and what happens next in Syria."

Hemmer then asked Harf whether Obama was given the same military option during his presidency.

Harf claimed that while she was at the State Department in 2013, they wanted to use force against Syria when it was discovered that they used chemical weapons. However, Harf said that Congress did not give the Obama administration authorization to use force, so Kerry had to conduct a backup plan and negotiate an agreement to get chemical weapons out of Syria.

She conceded to her point that Obama should have just attacked Syria without Congress's authorization, but then she pivoted to defending the Obama administration for getting 1,300 tons of weapons out of Syria.

"Either they hid some [chemical weapons] that we didn't know about or they've made more in the last 3.5 years," Harf said.

Hemmer played a clip of Kerry from January talking about how they got "all of the weapons of mass destruction" out of Syria.

Hemmer called out Kerry and other members of the Obama administration for echoing this same sentiment, questioning whether they were "duped" or whether Russia was pulling the wool over their eyes in not getting all of the chemical weapons out of Syria.

"We took those weapons off. The U.S. military ... actually helped get them and destroy them, so yes, was it a perfect agreement?" Harf asked. "No. I don't think we should say that today. If we had let them keep those 1,300 tons of weapons, either Assad would still have those, which is a lot more than he has now, or they would be in the hands of ISIS, who now controls a lot of territory where those were being stored."