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TODAY   |  August 30, 2013

White House briefs top members of Congress on Syria

The White House telephone briefing with top members of Congress left many wanting a lot more details on the mission, as Britain chooses not to strike. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>> here in the u.s. there's mounting questions over how the u.s. should respond. to according to a new poll 44% of americans disapprove in the job obama's doing in handling this situation and they're voicing their own concerns. andrea mitchell , good morning.

>> good morning. the white house shared intelligence with top members of congress but only by telephone leaving many to want more detail. even though the white house does plan to go it alone without a key ally.

>>> as protestors outside demonstrated against any military action against syria , inside, the national security team scrambled to build support for targeted strikes, briefing key members of congress by telephone thursday night. defense secretary hagel called in from the philippines. the president did not join the call.

>> i was really disappointed in that. one of the things that has really bothered me is the president drawing a red line without knowing, in his mind, what he would do if he crossed the red line .

>> i do think he needs to come up and consult with congress. a few phone calls and those kind of things, he'll have to have a discussion.

>> others on the call including robert menendez and bob corker were persuaded. what does the intelligence prove? much of it is circumstantial. but nbc news confirmed that the u.s. does have an intercepted communication with assad's brother discussing the attack last week. an attack this massive would require assad's personal approval as well. but the president lost a key partner thursday with the british people strongly opposed prime minister david cameron 's own party rebelled denying his the ability to strike syria .

>> it's clear to me that the british parliament reflecting the views of the british people does not want to see british military action. i get that and we'll act accordingly.

>> still, once u.s. inspectors leave syria over the weekend the u.s. military is ready only awaiting an order from the commander and chief. and even without great britain or the united nations white house officials are signaling the president is prepared to go it alone,