White House communications director Jen Psaki declined to answer if ISIS posed an “existential threat” to the United States, instead sticking to her talking points on climate change.
Tuesday on “MSNBC Live with José Díaz-Balart,” Psaki said, “we wouldn’t have done 10,000 air strikes against ISIL … if we didn’t think ISIL posed a threat but … there are issues like climate change, like trade that are really important for us to address as we lead the world globally.” (VIDEO: Obama: ‘No Existential Threats’ Facing The US)
Díaz-Balart asked Psaki about how many Americans would “argue that ISIS does represent an existential threat,” and Psaki stuck to her talking points about Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address. (VIDEO: Obama Says He Will Stand Up To ISIS By Attending Global Warming Conference)
“I think one thing that people, the American people can expect tonight is the president is going to talk about how we have the greatest military in the world. We’re going to go after ISIS, we’re going to defeat them. We’re going to destroy them. There’s no question about that,” Psaki said.
“We have the greatest economy in the world. We’re leading the world globally. People look to us to move agendas forward: climate change, going after terrorists. And that’s something you’ll really hear him talk about tonight,” Psaki indicated. “So you know, I think one of the things people will also look for or hear from him tonight is a real contrast with what we’re hearing from some Republicans running for president. If you listen to them, the country is, we’re headed toward doom and gloom, we’re headed toward really a negative future over the next five and 10 years. And the president absolutely doesn’t believe that. He’s optimistic about our potential and he’ll talk about that tonight as well.”
Noting that Psaki didn’t actually answer his question, Díaz-Balart replied, “So Jen, let me rephrase that question again. Do you, does the president believe that there are no existential threats to the United States and that groups like ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States?”
“Well, we wouldn’t be doing 10,000 — we wouldn’t have done 10,000 air strikes against ISIL, we wouldn’t have a coordinated campaign with 60 countries around the world if we didn’t think ISIL posed a threat, but I think the president believes that American power, American leadership needs to be used to yes, fight terrorists but also to take advantage of opportunities. And there are issues like climate change, like trade that are really important for us to address as we lead the world globally,” Psaki claimed.