Speaking to reporters in Argentina Wednesday, President Obama downplayed the gravity of Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels by saying ISIS does not pose “an existential threat” to national security.
“I addressed this issue a little bit at the baseball game when I was interviewed by ESPN,” the president explained, “but let me reiterate.”
“Groups like ISIL can’t destroy us. They can’t defeat us,” he continued. “They can’t produce anything. They’re not an existential threat to us.”
Obama noted that Islamic extremists are “vicious killers and murderers who perverted one of the world’s great religions.”
“Their primary power — in addition to killing innocent lives — is to strike fear in our societies,” he added. “It is very important for us to not respond with fear.”
Earlier in the press conference, Obama showed displeasure when an Associated Press reporter asked whether the Brussels attacks “changed anything.”
“I’ve got a lot of things on my plate,” he responded before assuring reporters his top priority is “to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that’s been taking place around the world.”