President Barack Obama’s former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Retired Gen. Michael Flynn said the White House dismissed the threat ISIS posed because it “did not meet a particular narrative that the White House needed” regarding reelection.
Appearing on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Flynn insisted, “I have said, and I believe, that people that were around the president, his sort of inner circle advising him, I think advised him incorrectly.”
Tapper prefaced the question and explained, “In 2012, your agency put out a new declassified report that seems to have predicted the rise of ISIS.”
The report said the “deteriorating security situation in Iraq and Syria could lead to the declaration of a quote ‘Islamic state through union with our organizations in Iraq and Syria which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and protection of its territory.'”
Tapper then asked, “It was not long after you issued that report that President Obama referred to ISIS as the ‘JV team.’ Do you feel your warnings were ignored?”
Flynn responded to the question, “You know, I think they did not meet a particular narrative that the White House needed. He then added ISIS did not fit this narrative because, “al Qaeda was on the run and bin Laden was dead.”
Tapper interjected, “The election? The election narrative?”
“Yeah, and they were dead, these guys are, you know, we’ve beaten them,” explained Flynn.
“So we have to get more realistic on what it is we’re facing. And we’re not facing a bunch of criminals,” insisted Flynn.
“These are not criminals,” the former DIA director continued. “These are hard core radical Islamists who have a deeply held belief. They are well organized. They are very well led. And they have a vision of this world that is complete opposite to what the vision of what you and I would want for our own families.” (RELATED: Hillary And The DNC Will Call Republicans ‘Radical’ But Not Muslim Terrorists)
Tapper continued the interview and said, “The Pentagon — as you know — the inspector general is looking into whether or not any intelligence was cooked, that people on the ground are saying one thing, and people up the line people were finessing it to make it to sound A: ISIS was weaker than it was. And B: air strikes against ISIS were more effective then they were. What can you tell us about that?”
Regarding reports that the Obama administration “cooked” ISIS intelligence, Flynn said, “I believe the role of intelligence and the importance of intelligence begins at the very top of our government. The president sets the priorities. If he feels like he’s getting poor intelligence, then he needs to either, you know, find different people or he needs to figure out what’s the matter with the system that is in place, because that is a huge system. It’s the best in the world if it’s focused properly. And I believe that, you know, whatever they find in the investigation at CENTCOM with these great analysts that have complained about the sort of abuse of the system, I actually think it all goes back to the White House.” (RELATED: Attkisson: Obama Is Selectively Reading Intel Reports [VIDEO])
Flynn explained, “The White House, the president has to say, ‘Hey, I need the best — whatever it is that you have, I want unvarnished truth. That’s what I want. And if I am not getting unvarnished truth, then I need to basically find it from other people that will give it to me.'”
If the president is getting intelligence reports “that those that are around him want him to hear versus what he needs to hear, then he’s going to make poor decisions. He’s at a place where he’s got to decide. That this is an ideology that we’re facing. It’s ideology that we’re facing. And that ideology has to be defeated and it has to be changed.” (RELATED: Ted Cruz: Barack Obama Is ‘An Apologist For Radical Islamic Terrorists’)