On Tuesday, former congressman Dennis Kucinich and Fox News’ senior foreign-affairs correspondent Greg Palkot interviewed Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus as part of a special that will air on Fox News Wednesday evening.
Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president of news, released a statement about the interview to Politico:
“On Saturday, Sept. 7, ... Dennis Kucinich advised me that he believed he could secure an interview with … Assad, whom he had met on previous occasions. At the time, it appeared that an American military attack on Syria was imminent, and I decided that Kucinich should pursue the interview, on condition that Fox News journalists would also be included.”
“Over the course of the next 10 days,” Clemente added, “the situation in Syria changed drastically. When our interview with President Assad finally took place on Sept. 17, Russia’s proposal to secure Syrian chemical weapons had, temporarily, reduced the likelihood of an American attack.
“The interview, shot by agreement by a Syrian camera crew, was conducted with no restrictions on the questions that could be asked. … Greg Palkot, a veteran of Middle East coverage, conducted the interview beside Kucinich … I was present in the control room and studio at the Presidential Palace in Damascus for the duration. Kucinich was not there in the capacity of a journalist nor was he representing Fox News in that role.”
In an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose ten days ago, Assad denied using chemical weapons against civilians and made a stern, if vague, promise to retaliate against any military intervention from the US government.
From that interview:
Charlie Rose: "Will there be attacks against American bases in Middle East if there is an airstrike?"
Assad: "You should expect everything. You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government. It’s not only the government are not the only player in this region. You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology. You have everything in this region now. So you have to expect that."