Obama's 'Long Game': Perino on What's Behind the New Taliban Narrative
Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary for George W. Bush, gave us some insight (watch above) this morning into the statements from President Obama's spokesmen over the past two days.
Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Wednesday that the Taliban is not considered a terrorist group, but rather an “armed insurgency.”
He was responding to a question about whether Jordan’s plan to make a prisoner trade with ISIS was similar to the U.S. swapping five Taliban members for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
A day later, Press Secretary Josh Earnest sought to differentiate the Afghan Taliban from al Qaeda, saying the two groups pose different threats.
Earnest called the Taliban a "very dangerous organization" that engages in "terror tactics."
Perino said on "Fox and Friends" that this isn't really about Schultz and Earnest because both are only communicating the message they've been instructed to deliver.
"The president does not think the Taliban are terrorists. ... The problem lies much higher and much deeper than the press office," she said, adding that Schultz was "inartful" with his answers.
Overall, "The Five" host said the White House is playing "the long game" and thinking about the president's legacy.
"They want to be able to say in January of 2017 when he's on his farewell tour that he ended two wars and that he changed the course of American foreign policy. The problem is the Taliban aren't cooperating with his narrative," said Perino.
She also reacted to last night's "Hannity" interview with the Pentagon spokesman, saying Adm. Kirby came off "a little bit arrogant" while discussing the fallout from the Bergdahl-Taliban trade.
Hear more analysis from Dana on The Five, weekdays at 5p ET, and check out her upcoming book.