Rep. Alan Grayson charged on Thursday that the Obama administration had manipulated intelligence to push its case for limited military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country's civil war.
"The administration wants to flood the zone by excluding other information or points of view," the Florida Democrat told U.S. News & World Report
. "I think that it is interesting that the administration consistently refers to Assad doing this and Assad doing that and Assad doing the other thing without giving the public any evidence to support the proposition that Assad has done anything."
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Grayson, who plans to vote against Obama's Syrian resolution next week, contended that Congress was being given intelligence briefings without any evidence to support administration claims that Assad had ordered the use of chemical weapons in last month's attacks in the suburbs of Damascus.
Released on Aug. 30, the White House report argued that Assad's government killed 1,429 people on Aug. 21 through chemical weapons.
Evidence cited in the document included "intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used."
Grayson, however, told U.S. News that "the claim has been made that that information was completely mischaracterized."
He described the four-page White House report as merely "a briefing paper with arguments in favor of attacking Syria" that "doesn't present both sides of the issue."
Congress is "not being given any of the underlying elements of the intelligence reports," Grayson told U.S. News.
He said he was not sure if the information would come before the votes on Obama's strike resolution next week.
White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, who fields questions for the National Security Council, declined to respond to Grayson's comments and directed U.S. News to federal spy agencies.
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