White House: Russia, Syrian regime trying to 'confuse' the world over chemical attacks


Story highlights

  • The US launched cruise missile Thursday
  • Senior officials briefed reporters Tuesday

At an off-camera background briefing, senior administration officials stopped short of saying there was proof of Russian collusion with Syria on the chemical attack last week that provoked the US military response. But the officials leaned more in that direction than the White House has previously.

“I think it’s clear that the Russians are trying to cover up what happened there,” one senior administration official said.

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“We do think that it is a question worth asking the Russians,” another official said. “How is it possible that their forces were located with the Syrian forces that planned, prepared and carried out this chemical weapons attack at the same installation, and did not have foreknowledge?”

“Russia’s allegations fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents,” the official said.

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