Hemmer Asks Earnest: Will Pres Obama Say 'Islamic Extremism' in SOTU?
Will President Obama say the words "Islamic extremism" tonight in his State of the Union address?
Bill Hemmer posed that question to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest this morning on "America's Newsroom."
Earnest said the president will explain his strategy for keeping the country safe. Chief among those threats, Earnest said, are "extremists across the globe who in the name of Islam try to carry out acts of violence" against America and its allies.
"But not Islamic extremism," Hemmer countered. "The White House, this president, is not prepared to go there, correct?"
Earnest answered that the White House wants to be clear that "the world is not at war with Islam, the world is at war with individuals who in the name of Islam try to carry out acts of violence."
Earnest said that stance has been successful in getting Muslim majority nations to work with the U.S. in carrying out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.
Hemmer asked Earnest how the Obama administration plans to "beat ISIS" and defeat Islamic terrorism around the world.
Earnest said the president has laid out a "clear strategy" on this issue, including steps that go beyond the 60-plus-nation coalition against ISIS.
He cited sanctions and an effort to "choke off" funding for ISIS, along with an effort to train moderate Syrian opposition fighters to battle ISIS.
"Saudi Arabia has agreed to host these training operations. We're going to work with our partners to train those forces and take the fight to them on the ground," said Earnest.