Reporter to Earnest: Does This Mean ISIS Is No Longer Considered A "JV" Team?


JIM ACOSTA, CNN: Let me ask you about something [the president] said back in January when he told the New Yorker when assessing the "ISIS" threat, he said that, "the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if the JV team puts on a Lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant." Is it safe to say that ISIS are no longer the "JVs"?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: I think what is appropriate to say is there is no question that the Lakers uniforms that were worn, to use that analogy a little bit, that were worn by the al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan has been decimated and defeated in Afghanistan. There is no question that is the result of the many decisions made by the president and the courageous service of our men and women in uniform and in the intelligence agencies. What is also true is that there are other organizations that subscribe to the violent extremist ideology that is espoused and promulgated by al Qaeda. Many of those groups in the nations across the globe are not particularly sophisticated and are focused on local sectarian conflicts that don't pose a significant or immediate threat to U.S. interests or the U.S. homeland. There are of course a couple other organizations that do pose a more substantial threats to the United States and our interests. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is one of them, and you've seen the United States in concert with our allies and partners take significant, important steps to mitigate the threat that is posed by those organizations that do have designs and capabilities to try to strike the United States, and in some cases try to strike the homeland. We do remain concerned about the military proficiency that has been demonstrated by ISIL and that's why you've seen the president take steps, including the authorization of military force that would protect American citizens who might be harmed by them.

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