George Stephanopoulos‘s assignment to interview Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was short-lived. The ABC journalist was originally asked to interview the leader of Syria, but that plan was cancelled at the last minute by Assad’s media team.
The New York Times reports that Stephanopoulos was contacted by the Syrian government and asked to talk to Assad about Syria’s civil war and the threats from the West to attack the country. The newspaper reports this was slated to be a rebuttal of sorts to President Barack Obama‘s address to the nation. According to ABC staff members, Stephanopolous secretly flew to Beruit, Lebanon where the plan was to drive him across the border of Syria to Damascus to speak to Assad.
When Stephanopoulos arrived in Beruit, he learned the interview was called off. Though he had to go home without the big get of a conversation with Assad, Stephanopoulos did manage to land a sit-down interview with Obama on Sept. 13.