President Barack Obama spoke to the press from the White House Briefing Room Thursday afternoon in order to address both Russia’s “stealth invasion” of Ukraine and the possibility of military airstrikes on ISIS in Syria. The second of those issues was the subject of the first question Obama received from new Meet The Press host Chuck Todd.
When the president called on Todd first, whom he called a “big cheese” and congratulated on his new role, but said it would be the last time he would be asking him a question as a member of the White House Press Corps. “I’m glad you said ‘in the press room,’” Todd joked.
Answering Todd’s question about how he prioritizes using military action against ISIS in Syria and potentially helping President Bashar al-Assad in the process, Obama stressed the “limited” nature of any potential operation in Syria. He said in order to find success, the U.S. will need “Sunni partners,” who as of now are “not in place.”
Later, Obama said, “I have consulted with Congress throughout this process. I am confident that as commander in chief I have the authority to engage in the acts we are conducting currently. As our strategy develops, we will continue to consult with Congress, and I do think it will be important for Congress to weigh in, for our consultations with Congress to continue to develop so the american people are part of the debate.”