White House Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert said Thursday morning that the United States, contrary to many reports, would still like to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed.

During an interview at the Aspen Security Forum, Bossert stated that even though removing Assad is not necessarily the U.S.’s first priority, it nevertheless remains a desired outcome.

“I don’t think it’s important for us to say that Assad must go first, but I think it’s absolutely imperative for me to correct the record and suggest that the United States still would like to see Assad go at some point,” Bossert said in response to a question from David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times.

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