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White House tries to gain support for strike on Syria

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is making a big push to rally members of Congress and the American public behind President Barack Obama's plan for a U.S. military strike against Syria.
   His administration says the government of Syrian President Bassar Assad used chemical weapons in an attack last month near Damascus, and that a strong U.S. response is needed to deter the future use of deadly chemicals.
   Syria claims rebels carried out the Aug. 21 attack.
   Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, is set to make the White House's case during interviews on five Sunday talk shows.
   Vice President Joe Biden plans to host a dinner Sunday night for a group of Senate Republicans. And lawmakers should expect more phone calls from top officials.
   Obama is giving a national address Tuesday night.