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Henry: What Happened to Old Obama Who Called for UN, Congressional Authorization to Use Force?

Earnest: Russian obstruction nixes UN, president still believes in 'robust Congressional consultation'

• August 29, 2013 2:41 pm

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Fox News' Ed Henry grilled Deputy White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest on President Obama's apparent flip flop on unilateral military action with respect to Syria Thursday in the White House press conference.

Earnest replied Russian obstruction at the United Nations removes a Security Council resolution as a legitimate recourse for the president.

Additionally, Earnest contended the Obama administration believes in "robust Congressional consultation" but stopped short of stating whether the president needs formal approval from Congress for a strike against Syria:

ED HENRY: The question then is, what happened to the Barack Obama of the 2008 who said got to go to UN, got to get a resolution. Got to go to Congress, you got to get authorization. Now, Russia blocks it we're going around it. Congress on recess, we're going to call them but we're going to move forward?

JOSH EARNEST: What this president has done has demonstrated a clear willingness to consult and invest in the U.N. process. That is something that we've done at the U.N. throughout the president's tenure in office and it's something we've done in this case. The president did it with great success in building international coalition to deal with the situation in Libya a couple years ago. Unfortunately what we're seeing right now is Russia repeatedly block efforts at the U.N. to hold the Assad regime accountable. That is very disappointing, but the president of the United States is not going to allow that obstruction to prevent him from making decisions that are in the best interests of our national security. And when it comes to Congress, the president believes strongly, in robust, Congressional consultation. That is something that we've been engaged in since day one of this circumstance, and it is something that we'll continue, we are seeing an important part of that consultation this evening, but it will, there will be additional consultations tomorrow and in the days and weeks ahead.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) told Greta Van Susteren last night the president's reversal on this matter proves "it's not where you stand, it's where you sit":

Published under: Middle East, Syria, United Nations, Video