Assad Wanted to Avoid a Strike: Charlie Rose

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Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Charlie Rose recaps his interview with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. He speaks with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

Could happen.

I don't know.

I am not a fortune teller to tell you what is going to happen.

Charlie rose joining us on set right now.

Wow.

Really remarkable interview.

It sounds as if president assad is indicating that there could be repercussions, and not necessarily from syria, should this happen.

What we talked about in the beginning was chemical weapons and whether he had them.

He is not going to say we do or don't. he did not deny having them.

There is overwhelming evidence he does have them, but he would not concede that.

What he did say is that we did not use chemical weapons on august 21, and we believe it was rebels.

I said, if you didn't do it, who did?

We clearly know chemical weapons were used.

The interesting thing about the interview , when he said people will respond, i think he clearly meant has below.

But people do not talk about their -- clearly meant has below -- hezbollah.

But people do not talk about their war plans.

The president proposed that there would be no strike if he gave up his chemical weapons.

He effectively said look, i am not saying i have chemical weapons or not.

I am not saying i have chemical weapons.

However, i do not want to see syria at war or were come to the region because it will go beyond syria.

Quick so he opened the door.

He opened the door to a deal about chemical weapons, which he refused to say he did have or didn't have, and as you know, the story today is all about this compromise that might happen.

So far, as i read, the idea is that perhaps the president would delay even a vote to let negotiations and diplomacy take their course.

And the russians are involved in this.

We just reported that the united nations security council delayed their vote and now have canceled the meeting.

Just to be clear, when i asked him that, there was no conversation about a compromise on chemical weapons at all.

I asked it simply looking for a way out and seeing how he would respond to certain kinds of suggestions.

He did seem to open the door.

Clearly now, what the russians are saying and the syrian foreign minister are saying, it looks like it is real possibility.

The president has said he would welcome it, obviously, and he wants to let diplomacy have its go.

Quick so you got the sense that assad wanted to divert -- very much.

He knew what the consequences of a strike would be and he very much wanted to avoid it.

Quick strike aside -- strike aside, as you sat across from him, did you have a sense that he has any sense himself of where this is ultimately going?

The country, his administration?

I think he does not know what will happen.

Clearly, he believes that he has the support of this.

People in part, otherwise he would not have been able to maintain the struggle or two and a half years.

He recognizes that hezbollah has been supportive.

The russians and a rainy and have been supportive.

He also feels he has support from saudi arabia and other governments.

So he believes he is the legitimate leader and should be president.

His family is essentially a dictatorship.

His family has controlled syria, first his father and now him.

He does believe he has the support of this.

People, especially if he defines the enemy as terrorist -- of his people.

Especially if he defines the enemy as terrorists and al qaeda.

You are the only person to get this interview.

Just to give you the background, i had interviewed him twice before, but that was the extent of it.

The last time i interviewed him was 2010. once in 2006, in 2010. i did not have a relationship with him or with anybody in the syrian government.

I just made a request to come interview him, and i got back from the press office is sensitive was not going to happen.

I continually raised the issue.

They said, would you continue -- would you consider an interview that was not edited and of

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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