TODAY | September 15, 2013
>>> "meet the press." a lot of mixed reaction as we just heard from kristen on this agreement. there's also talk on whether or not this actually is more of a win for russia and for putin. is it?
>> i think that the view in the white house , having talked to top officials this weekend is that they're less concerned about how all of this looks, how the president got here and they're focused on the glimmer of hope which arguably is still just a glimmer, that you have the goal being satisfied of getting assad to give up its chemical weapons and being in a position not to use them again. if a year from now he's still in power and played game with united states , it could be a victory for assad and all the way along for putin if he gets in the way of achieving what the united states wants to achieve. there is a big change in a week. syria admits it's got the weapons. if they use the weapons -- russia has come along to play a potentially constructive role even if they have ulterior motives.
>> the task is daunting, as kristen say, to the least. a lot of what happened in libya with gadhafi. a huge stash was found after he died in 2011 . is that a concern at this point? that syria has had time to maybe stash something?
>> yes, absolutely. i think the question still stands that how would have bombing syria achieve a different outcome than what you may have had with this? bombing was just meant as punishment. it would not have defanninged syria of its chemical weapons . some putting forces on the ground would do that. that's still only potential. he could get rid of weapons and go outside of syria . i think that is where the president has focused on what the goal is at the moment. given the fact there was no support for a strike in congress or the american public, it didn't seem like a bombing campaign was realistic anyhow.