JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Can I just ask whether you see any irony in using as your legal justification for these airstrikes an authorization for military force (AUMF) that the president himself has called for repeal of?
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: The president did give a speech in May of 2013, just a little over a year ago now, where he did describe -- let me just quote his sentence and then we can talk about it a little bit. The president said:
I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMFâ€™s mandate.
Two sentences later he went on to say:
Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue.
(Editor's note: Earnest forgot to mention what President Obama said in between those two statements: "And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further.")
EARNEST: So the president is ready to engage in a conversation with members of Congress as it relates to this specific AUMF. And we welcome, or would welcome, a show of support from the United States Congress for the strategy that the president has laid out.
We have been gratified to see some public statements of support from members of Congress, including many Republicans, for the president's strategy. And if there are additional steps that Congress would like to consider, we would welcome them, but the president is confident he has the authority he needs to order military action along the lines of broadened, systemic airstrikes that he described yesterday.
PACE: Using the AUMF he wants repealed?
EARNEST: Under the AUMF that he continues to apply to this terrorist organization that is operating in Iraq and Syria. And in the same speech where the president talked about his desire to refine and repeal the AUMF, the president talked about the need to confront and defeat and continue to take the fight to terrorist organizations that either do or could wish violence and harm to the U.S. homeland.