Apparently, some of the president’s detractors, including lawmakers from his own party, accused him of tiptoeing around the issue of violent extremism (aka Islamic terrorism), prompting White House press secretary Josh Earnest to fire back at that insinuation at today’s press briefing. According to the Hill, Earnest explained that the goal of the White House summit held this week was to “address [this] issue … head-on, and that’s why we had leaders of law enforcement, we had leaders of the Muslim community.”
He went on to add:
I don’t think the countless terrorists that have been wiped off the battlefield as result of military action that this president has ordered feel the president is particularly fearful.
Of course, it’s impossible to say how these terrorists feel because they’re all dead, killed by Obama’s indiscriminate airstrikes (along with countless civilians) and thus unable to provide any actionable intelligence.
But back to the accusations. Among the Democrats who have taken the president to task is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, from Obama’s home state of Hawaii. A combat veteran, Gabbard said:
If you look at this broad focus on countering violent extremism, which is very hard to define, it’s a diversion away from the actual threat coming from this radical Islamic ideology that exists.
Another lawmaker who was critical of Obama’s approach was House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who called the summit “a psychotherapy session without substance or any solutions.”
McCaul also commented on the administration’s move to allow thousands of unvetted Syrian refugees into the country, noting that Syria is the where the Islamic State was born.
“Why in the world do we have a federally sanctioned government program to bring thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States that could pose a greater risk to Americans?” McCaul asked while a guest on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” last night, adding:
This is a very dangerous and reckless policy, in my judgment.
I sent a letter to National Security Adviser Susan Rice asking her to explain why she’s doing this and to try to stop this from happening. My job as chairman of Homeland Security is to protect the American people. I believe this will put Americans at risk.