The Background: Speaking in Sweden, President Obama attempted to back away from his Syrian red line statement in August of 2012.
First of all, I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world's population said uh the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line uh when it indicated that uh in a uh piece of uh legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that uh some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there uh need to be answered for. Uh and so, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what's happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming uh consensus of humanity says is wrong, um that wasn't something I just kind of made up. I didn't pluck it out of thin air. Uh, there's a reason for it.