Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied in an interview with CBS television that he was behind a chemical attack last month and called on lawmakers to reject planned U.S. military strikes, the U.S. network said Sunday.
"He denied that he had anything to do with the attack," CBS veteran correspondent Charlie Rose said, speaking after earlier interviewing Assad in Syria.
"He denied that he knew there was a chemical attack, notwithstanding what has been said and notwithstanding the videotape. He said there's not enough evidence to make a conclusive judgment.
"The most important thing, as he says, is that 'there's no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people,'" Rose said.
Assad's rare interview with an American network is to be aired on CBS on Monday.
The United States has led the charge that Assad ordered a chemical attack against the residents of a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21, which Washington says killed some 1,400 people including about 400 children.
Responding to a reporter's question about Assad's interview at a separate meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed the Syrian president's claims, saying that "the evidence speaks for itself."
Graphic videos released Saturday showed dozens of people, including children, writhing on the ground with convulsions, some apparently foaming at the mouth and vomiting as rescuers sought to help them.