Subject: Travel pool report #6 — gaggle
Gaggle en route to St. Petersburg –
From Ben Rhodes gaggle
No major news. Please see transcript. The highlights below –
Still no plans for Obama-Putin two bilat, but leaders will certainly have a chance to “have interactions” on the sidelines.
On rallying international support for Syria: Rhodes pointed to statement from the Nordic Council issued Wednesday night. “We would not anticipate every member of the G20 agreeing about the way forward in Syria, particularly given the Russian position.” Obama will however “explain our current thinking” to allies and partners and explore what type of “political and diplomatic support they may express for our efforts to hold Syrian regime accountable.”
On whether WH is seeking financial support: Rhodes said the type of action being considered isn’t one that would require “significant requirements of international participation.”
On a possible Oval Office address on Syria: Rhodes said a speech of some kind is still under consideration.
On Putin wanting more evidence on attack: Rhodes went through the “we’ll continue to discuss with the Russian what our evidentiary basis is and what our – our degree of confidence in the fact that the Assad regime carried this out. But again, what we do not want to see is some ongoing debate about whether or not a chemical weapons attack took place that everybody saw with their own eyes on Aug. 21 and similarly, we don’t want to entertain implausible theories.”
On Putin interview: Rhodes said White House is “highly skeptical” of possibility that Russia will take a different view at the security council.
On Brazil and spying: Rhodes said “we’re focused on making sure Brazilians understand what the exact nature of our intelligence is.