TODAY   |  August 24, 2013

White House weighing its options on Syria

President Obama will meet with key advisors on Saturday to weigh the White House response to Syria, in the wake of images that allegedly show a chemical weapons attack. Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel has said he is readying plans, including naval warships, for “whatever options the president might choose.” NBC News’ Kristin Welker reports.

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>>> ready take action. kristen welker is live with that. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. president obama will hold a meeting at the white house later on this morning. now this comes as defense secretary chuck hagel who is traveling overseas said to reporters he is preparing naval assets in case president obama decides to take action. it comes in the wake of the horrifying images we saw this past week of an alleged chemical weapons attack. president obama called the use of chemical weapons inside syria a red line . they believe syria crossed that line several months ago. if confirmed, this would be on a broader scale. the president is considering a range of military options including air strikes that target assad command posts. the defense department said two naval warships are in place in the mediterranean and down playing the significance of that. chuck hagel said on friday the defense department that has responsibility to provide the president with options for all contingencies, being able to carry out different options, whatever the president might choose. during an interview, president obama said the time line for making a decision has been accelerated. take a listen.

>> when you start seeing chemical weapons used on a large scale and, again, we are still gathering information about this particular event, but it is very troublesome.

>> reporter: president obama has not decided whether or not to take action. he wants confirmation of what took place inside syria . he directed intelligence officials as well as u.n. investigative team. they are on the ground inside syria to get answers. while this is going on the pressure is mounting with lawmakers on capitol hill urging the obama administration to take action. back to you.