Feinstein Rebukes Obama: Islamic State Is Not Contained

November 16, 2015

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) directly contradicted President Obama’s assessment of the Islamic State threat Monday afternoon, saying that the Islamic State is not contained and the United States is not doing enough to defeat them.

"I have never been more concerned," Feinstein said. "I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIL is not contained. ISIL is expanding."

Feinstein, the vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and leading foreign policy voice for Democrats, took aim at Obama’s defense of his strategy. Obama reiterated that he will not put boots on the ground in response to the Paris coordinated terrorist attacks that killed 129 people, including at least one American.

"I can't tell you how many troops on the ground we need, but we certainly need more than 50 special ops, and we need the ability to really make a difference on the ground," Feinstein said.

In Turkey for the G-20 summit, Obama referred to the Paris attack as a "setback."

"We have always understood that this would a long-term campaign. There will be setbacks and there will be successes. The terrible events in Paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback," Obama said. "Even as we grieve with our French friends, however, we can’t lose sight that there has been progress being made."

Chuck Todd called Obama’s tone "extremely defensive" on questions regarding the Islamic State. Feinstein called for a new approach.

"They are on the march. It is important to recognize this and prepare to deal with it with action," Feinstein said. "And candidly, I don't think bombing runs alone, we have done about 8,000 now, can really make a difference. So we're going to have to look at some new team—new themes and I think we will have to listen very carefully to our military people and ask for the kind of precise military strategy and tactics that might be able to really contain ISIL and defeat it.

Feinstein called for quick action in determining how safe America’s border policies are and pointed to a video threatening attacks in the U.S. as reason to take the terror group's threat seriously.

"She is not pulling punches today," Mitchell told Todd after the interview.