POSTED: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 8:02am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The President's bus tour focuses on making education more affordable, but worry is growing about what's happening in Syria and Egypt.
Last year, the President said the use of chemical weapons crosses the "red line" and would be met with consequences. "You should not make a threat that you're not willing to fulfill. And if you do make a threat that you don't fulfill, you have no credibility," said Peter Brookes, Senior Fellow of National Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.
The death toll in Syria is still unclear. Hundreds maybe more than a thousand killed as the opposition blames President Bashar al Assad's regime.
The White House is waiting to see if the investigation team currently "in" Syria will get access. "We are hopeful that the Assad regime will follow through on what they have claimed previously: that they are interested in a credible investigation," said Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Congress is on recess for two more weeks, but top Republican leaders are calling on U.S. officials to use their influence over Egypt. "So far, the United States has sent a very, very mixed message to the people who have caused mayhem in the streets of Cairo and Egypt," said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.
And so has the Egyptian court, releasing former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak from jail on corruption charges. Some fear Mubarak's release will lead to a return of the old regime. "The question moving forward is: What is our relationship going to be? What steps should we or shouldn't we take?" asked State Department Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki.
And still more questions this morning on whether to cut the one point five billion dollars in aid the U.S. gives to Egypt each and every year.
The President's challenge, mending tensions in the Middle East
Melissa Mollet, NBC News.