President Obama Talks Putin, Syria & More on CBS THIS MORNING

In an interview with CBS THIS MORNING co-host Charlie Rose, President Barack Obama discussed his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the ongoing situation in Syria, his views on foreign policy and his advice for his successor. Excerpts of the interview were broadcast today, April 19, on CBS THIS MORNING on the CBS Television Network. The full interview will air tonight on "Charlie Rose" on PBS stations at 11:00 PM, ET (Check local listings).

Here's a clip of the first portion: cbsn.ws/1SWZ4Vo

Here's a clip of the second portion: cbsn.ws/1S7VITd

President Obama on his call to Vladimir Putin regarding peace in Syria:

"My call today to him was to indicate that we're starting to see it fray more rapidly. And if the United States and Russia are not in sync about maintaining it and getting a political track and transition moving-- then we could be back in a situation we were three, four weeks ago. And that would serve neither of our interests. But I think they are also very much committed to -- maintaining the structure of the Syrian state, which in theory we don't object to either...Where we have continually butted heads-- and this has been true for six years now-- is-- his insistence that-- he cannot-- back-- unilaterally the removal of Assad. That that's a decision that Assad and the Syrians have to make."

President Obama on his advice to his successor:

"...So one of the things that I've learned is that...the big breakthroughs are typically the result of just a lot of grunt work. There's a lot of just blocking and tackling. What is important is making sure that you've got an organization that has integrity, that is clear about its mission, that is doing things the right way and not taking shortcuts. That you're not thinking in terms of short term politics or PR, but you're in for the long haul and when you do that, than ultimately, you're gonna get the good outcome."

President Obama on his foreign policy:

"I've always shied away from labeling my foreign policy. What I believe is that the United States as the world's singular super power has an obligation in all areas of the world where there's mayhem and war and conflict for us to try to be a positive force. But that does not mean that we should be deploying troops everywhere where a crisis is taking place, that we have to be judicious about how we use military power."

President Obama on his decisions regarding Syria:

"I think there's no doubt that there are many in the Middle East who would've preferred me taking a shot at Assad. But the reason is not because of some abstract notions of red lines. Assad is a horrible leader. Horrible dictator who has shattered his country. And-- it continues to be our position that we need to get him outta there."



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