Watch Obama’s Spokesman Squirm When Asked About If ISIS Is ‘Contained’ [VIDEO]

Steve Guest Media Reporter
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White House press secretary Josh Earnest insisted that when President Barack Obama said ISIS was “contained,” the president was asserting that “the amount of territory that ISIL has been able to take over in Iraq and Syria has been contained.”

Thursday during the White House press briefing, Earnest then ignored Fox News reporter James Rosen’s questioning about whether it was appropriate to use the word “contained.”

Just hours before the ISIS terrorist attack in Paris, Obama claimed that ISIS is not gaining strength and that “we have contained them.” (RELATED: Obama: ISIS Not Gaining Strength [VIDEO]) 

However, on Wednesday, in sworn Senatorial testimony, Defense Secretary Ash Carter agreed with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford that ISIS was in fact not contained. (RELATED: Defense Secretary Ash Carter: We Have Not Contained ISIS [VIDEO])

“I know that yesterday you did quarrel will with the assertion that there was a flat contradiction between the president telling ABC News that ISIS was contained, and Secretary Carter flatly telling the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that it is not contained,” explained Rosen. “You asserted there is no contradiction there because of what the president meant. So just to clarify, when the president said that ISIS was contained, just a few hours before the Paris attacks, he wasn’t referring to the group’s geographic reach or terror capabilities but rather to in essence their office space?”

Earnest replied, “I think the president, if you go back and look at the transcript, you don’t have to discern what the president meant. You can look at what he said. And he made a specific reference to the fact that the amount of territory that ISIL has been able to take over in Iraq and Syria has been contained and in fact rolled back because there’s about 25 percent of the populated areas that they previously controlled have now been taken or retaken by Iraqi forces and by some opposition fighters inside of Syria.”

In the interview with ABC News before the Paris terror attacks, Obama explained, “I don’t think they’re gaining strength.”

“What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them,” Obama said. “They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave. But you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.”

Rosen shot back at Earnest, “But is it appropriate to use the word contained when just a few hours later they demonstrated their ability to cause mass casualty attacks on the homeland of one of our chief allies in this war?”

“The reason that the president ordered military action against ISIL in the first place is because the president was concerned about the territory that they had taken over inside of Iraq and in Syria and the president was concerned that they would use that safe haven to carry out attacks against the United States or our allies or our interests around the world,” Earnest explained. “So this is the very reason that we are engaged in a campaign right now, that is making progress to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.”

Rosen followed up, “Can you provide a historical analog, when in recent memory a war time Commander in Chief issued publicly an assessment of enemy strength that was so directly undercut in sworn testimony by the top civilian commander at the Pentagon?”

A visibly annoyed Earnest insisted, “Well James, as I pointed out, I don’t agree with your assessment that what Secretary Carter had to say undercut what the president had to say.”

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