Veteran reporter Charlie Rose announced Sunday that he had secured a highly coveted scoop: He interviewed Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.
Later, from Beirut, Rose discussed aspects of the interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."
The interview will run in its entirety Monday night on the "Charlie Rose" show on PBS.
The world's attention is keenly focused on the perilous situation in Syria, particularly now that Assad has been accused of using chemical weapons against his own people. President Obama is seeking authorization from Congress for a military strike, which has proved controversial.
"He denied that there was, in fact, a chemical attack," Rose said over the phone on "Face the Nation." "He said, 'I can't confirm or deny that we have chemical weapons.'"
Rose said Assad suggested, as he has before, that the rebels had something to do with the attack. He also said he was preparing for a possible American military strike, and that there would be retaliation, although he declined to say what form that retaliation might take.
"He was calm and knew the situation he was in," said Rose, adding that Assad is clearly watching what is happening in Washington very closely.
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