Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) called the Islamic State “on the defensive” Sunday on CNN, less than a week after the terrorist group launched attacks on Brussels, Belgium, that killed more than 30 people.
Sanders, parroting the Obama administration line, was referring to the group’s territory and told State of the Union host Jake Tapper that the country was making real military progress in the fight against ISIS.
Secretary of State John Kerry also trumpeted that this week, but Sanders’ words seemed strange given the brutal attack ISIS had just successfully wrought on Belgium five days earlier.
Sanders also defended President Obama, who was criticized this week for another passive response to the attacks.
“I know he gets criticized a lot,” Sanders said. “Some of the Republicans think he hasn’t been tough enough. His job is two-fold. Number one, to destroy ISIS, and by the way, let’s be clear. We are making, on the military field, real progress. ISIS is on the defensive.
“They are retreating. They have lost, I think, 30, 40 percent of the territory they held in Iraq in the last year, so we keep that up.”
Sanders added the country needed better intelligence-sharing for future attacks.
“We have got to do everything that we can to make sure that we do not have a continuation of attacks against our allies in Europe or even here in the United States of America,” he said. “We have got to be incredibly vigilant.”