Earnest to Ed Henry: John Kerry Had ‘Evidence On His Side’ When He Said World Is Safer

‘Pressure has been applied and that has reduced the ability of ISIL to expand their reign of terror’

Earnest to Ed Henry: John Kerry Had "Evidence On His Side" When He Said World Is Safer (RealClearPolitics)

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Secretary Kerry, yesterday he testified on Capitol Hill and said, "despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally -- less deaths, less violent deaths."

When you have, tragically, American families who have seen their family members beheaded by ISIS -- we see these images everyday -- how could Secretary Kerry make the claim to the American people and to the world that we are safer than we were before?

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: Well, I think he could do so with the evidence on his side. What he was able to demonstrate and I think what he was discussing is the success that our military campaign has had in applying significant pressure to the ISIS leadership. That there are thousands of strikes that have been conducted by the United States and our coalition partners to take out ISIL targets, in some cases even ISIL leadership targets. Supply lines have been destroyed. Fighting positions have been destroyed. And what this has done is it has prevented ISIL from being able to operate comfortably in Iraq and in Syria. 

We have been concerned from the very beginning that ISIL would attempt to use all of the instability and chaos in Syria to try to establish a safe haven that they can then use to launch targets in other locations in the world. And because of the pressure that we have applied, because of this strategy that we have pursued to have fighters on the ground take the fight to ISIL, and to back them up with military coalition airstrikes -- that pressure has been applied and that has reduced the ability of ISIL to expand their reign of terror...

HENRY: You said this is preventing ISIL from expanding their reign of terror?

EARNEST: That's correct, Ed. That we have been concerned that ISIL would try and establish Syria as a safe haven where they could then use that area to plan and execute terror attacks all around the globe.

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