Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: ‘We’re not trusting Assad, we’re trusting the Russians’

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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp appeared on MSNBC today to explain her stance on a U.S. military intervention in Syria, saying that the U.S. is not trusting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but rather, “we’re trusting the Russians” to make good on theirs.

“Why would you trust Assad?” host Andrea Mitchell asked the North Dakota Democrat. “Assad has, until this initiative, denied there was an attack, denied he was part of it, denied he has chemical weapons. Why on earth would we trust this man to tell us he’s turned them all over to international monitoring and that he is signing a treaty that he’s never agreed to sign?”


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“We’re not trusting Assad,” Ms. Heitkamp explained. “We’re trusting the Russians to come to the table…”

“Whoa,” the MSNBC host interrupted. “You’re trusting the Russians?”

“We’re trusting Russia’s intent at this point to actually deliver the right set of circumstances,” Ms. Heitkamp said.

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, clarified that the U.S. does not have a honest relationship with Russia, but the international community of the Chemical Weapons Commission should back up the Russian proposal regardless, Mediaite.com reported.

In remarks later in the day on the Senate floor, Ms. Heitkamp again welcomed the Russian proposal but added that “actions speak louder than words.”

“We cannot, I don’t think, trust agreements between Syria and Russia until we see Syria actually surrendering these weapons,” she said.

“I don’t think at this point we should trust what anyone says. I think we need to trust what they do,” Ms. Heitkamp added.

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