Appearing on CNBC Wednesday morning, Sen. Bob Corker said he "could not have been more disappointed" in President Barack Obama's address to the nation Tuesday evening regarding Syria.
Corker, who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, helped write, introduce and approve a resolution last week to grant Obama the authority to carry out a limited strike against targets affiliated with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Taking questions from hosts on the show "Squawk Box," the senator said his interactions with Obama in the days leading to the address did not mirror the message relayed to the American public.
"The president gave a good speech last night—he's a very good speechmaker—but I could not have been more disappointed in the content," Corker said. "I was with him Sunday night, yesterday at lunch, and I thought he was going to make the case for why this was in our national interests. Whether you like the president or not, whether you support him or not, when our commander in chief draws a bright red line and a country passes that, to me, it's about our credibility as a nation."
The senator and former Chattanooga mayor added that he wished Obama had offered more explanation on his thoughts regarding how a decision in favor of or against a strike would impact U.S. credibility with other nations observing the nation's response, particularly Iran.
"I really thought the president was going to talk about that red line," he said. "Look, the use of chemical weapons interests me, but what interests me regarding us is our credibility around the world. He did not make that case. He alluded to me that he was, but he did not."
When asked for his thoughts on this week's proposal from Russia, which could result in Syria eliminating its stockpile of chemical weapons, Corker said he was hopeful the development would be fruitful, adding his preference for the issue to be solved diplomatically. But the senator also said that his expectations were low.
"I hope this is real," he said. "I have zero trust, maybe lower of Russia. But the fact is, again, I think it's in our nation's interest to pursue this for a period of time."
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