[VIDEO] White House Unsure Whether Murderous Rampage in France Is Terrorism

White House press secretary Josh Earnest refrained from calling the attack on a French magazine “terrorism” in an interview this morning on CNN:

The CNN host asked,

“Josh, when you talk about countering the message, you keep using the word violence. I mean, this is an act of terrorism, that’s what the president of France called it — an act of terrorism. You’re referring to ISIS and other bad actors, it doesn’t really matter who it is at the end of the day. You know you’re fighting a very large group of people of somewhat similar concern. Do you see this as an act of terrorism, and is this something that has to be condemned on that level?”


“Based on what we know right now it does seem that’s what we’re confronting here. And this is an act of violence that we certainly do condemn, and if based on this investigation it turns out to be an act of terrorism, then we would condemn that in the strongest possible terms, too.”

Earnest continued,


“I mean, look, this is again based on the very preliminary information that we have, this isn’t just an attack as you point out, Chris, on the people of France and on innocent civilians. This is an attack on some of the basic values that we hold dear here in this country and basic values of freedom of speech and freedom of expression and the free press that is also held dear by our allies in France. So this is something we take seriously and that we condemn, like I said, in the strongest possible terms.”


UPDATE: A few minutes later, President Obama released a statement calling it a “terrorist act.”

“I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time….(read more)

The Weekly Standard

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