Obama to Address Americans on Syrian Strike

The president will make his case to the American public in televised speech.
2:24 | 09/10/13

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Transcript for Obama to Address Americans on Syrian Strike
But we start with the support from russia, to put syria's k chemical weapons, as president obama prepares to address the nation today. Abc's jonathan karl has the latest from washington. Good morning, jon. Reporter: Good morning, robin. As the president is seemingly defeated in congress. The president's allies are hoping they just got a lifeline in form of the offer from russia, to get syria to turn over its chemical weapons. As the president prepares to address the nation tonight, in a series of interviews monday, including to abc's diane sawyer, he opened the door to avoiding a strike. If bashar al assad, yielded control of his chemical weapons, is a military strike on pause? Absolutely, if, in fact, that happened. If we can resolve that th without military conflict, that's my preference. Reporter: President obama is still trying to convince congress to give him the authority to launch a military strike. My hope is, by people understanding what's at stake, and the limited but significant tools we can to address it, they will be supportive. Reporter: Threat of force, the white house says, is absolutely essential to getting anything from syria. You're not going to start bombing syria while you're negotiating with the russians, are you? In determines of military action, we're engaged with congress at this point. So, while we have the discussions, with the russians and others, we will continue in the effort with congress. Reporter: This morning, white house officials say the president intends to go before the nation tonight and to make the case for congress to pass that resolution, authorizing him to take military action against syria. The more the white house has made the case on this, the more it has lost support in congress. I'm told right now, that the president would lose not only in the house, but in the senate, as well, on this vote. The poll numbers are refle reflecting that, as well. You referred to the russians as a lifeline. Is it possible they could step in here? There's a lot of skepticism here. The president said he was taking the russian offer with a grain of salt. A possibility. But not an overabundance of hope right now. Jon, thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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