(NBC News) Complicating the Syrian crisis as Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday unleashed a harsh attack on America.
In a New York Times op-ed piece, Putin warned against what he called alarming U.S. military intervention.
But President Obama is still counting on Putin to make U.S. military action in Syria U.N. necessary.
Obama aides say what matters most is not what Putin says about America.
It's what he does about Syrian chemical weapons.
In Geneva, Switzerland, Secretary of State Kerry began negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, demanding quick action and proof that Syria gives up chemical weapons or else.
"There ought to be consequences, if it doesn't take place," said Secretary Kerry.
In Syria, rebel forces are finally getting the weapons President Obama promised in July.
But Syrian Dictator Assad said if those deliveries don't stop, and if the U.S. keeps threatening airstrikes he will not turn over chemical weapons.
Meanwhile, jolting Washington is that New York Times op-ed by Vladimir Putin who slammed the United States.
In his writing, Putin said millions see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force.
He went on to slam President Obama for saying the U.S. has a duty to intervene in Syria.
On Capitol Hill, there was outrage from lawmakers.
"I was insulted," said House Speaker John Boehner.
"Incredibly unbelievable," said Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
Predictable said others who say Putin saw weakness, in President Obama threats of force but failing to sell that to lawmakers or the American public.
I think he has great difficulty in communicating to our citizens but also to the world, said Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.
And for now the President has handed off Syria to Secretary Kerry and his team, hoping for a diplomatic solution to a volatile and hostile situation.
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