'This Week' Transcript: Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky

STEPHANOPOULOS: The dinner raised scholarship money for young journalists too. And we'll have much more from he evening ahead. But now we turn to the new questions about intelligence, and national security that's been building all week from Syria, to Boston, to Russia. And here to discuss the fallout are the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, Ranking Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger, fellow committee member, Jan Schakowsky, along with Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Magazine and our own Martha Raddatz.

And Martha, let me begin with you. Let's talk about Syria, and -- and the admission this week from the administration that they discovered some evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria. Describe the evidence?

RADDATZ: Well, I -- I think it sounds like pretty strong evidence. They've got hair samples, tissue samples from some of the victims. And there are at least 30 people who died in Aleppo alone, that they believe is directly traced to sarin. As they said, in varying degrees of confidence, they believe those deaths were -- were traced to he nerve agent sarin. What they don't have is the chain of custody. They believe the Assad regime is responsible for the deaths, but they don't know how yet to track that.

And of course, we don't really have people on the ground. The U.N. is not on the ground to really track that chain of custody for positive...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So whey they say the evidence is not conclusive in their mind, that's why they want further investigations? Several weeks?

RADDATZ: Which could be really hard to get if you don't really have people on the ground, and it dissipates quickly. So I think it could take even longer than that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me bring in the Chairman. The Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers. You've also, of course, looked at -- at a lot of this evidence. Is it conclusive enough for you?

ROGERS: It is. And there is also classified information that we have, that I think strengthens the case that in fact some small amount of chemical weapons have been used over the course of the last two years. And -- and the problem is, you know the president has laid down the line. He -- and it can't be a dotted line. It can't be anything other than a red line. And more than just Syria, Iran is paying attention to this. North Korea is paying attention to this.

So I think the options aren't huge, but some action needs to be taken. And if you think about the destabilizing impact. Right now, the chemical weapons have been small in use. If you have a larger use, the refugee and humanitarian crisis that comes from that is huge.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But let me ask the other question, how do you explain why it was such a small use of chemical weapons? Presumably President Assad knew that if he used chemical weapons it would -- it would trigger some kind of response. Why use it in such a small, small area.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...