NBC reporter Ron Allen asked President Obama Monday if he understood the Islamic State well enough to defeat them, drawing a curt response from Obama who said he had answered that question multiple times already.
Several reporters at Monday's press conference in Turkey asked Obama about his previous underestimations of IS, and Obama became impatient when Allen followed that theme.
Obama impatient today with reporters for redundant questions about Islamic State strategy. But this is on every American's mind
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) November 16, 2015
"I think a lot of people around the world and in America are concerned because, given the strategy that you're pursuing and it's been more than a year now, ISIS' capabilities seem to be expanding," Allen said. "Were you aware that they had the capability of pulling off the kind of attack that they did in Paris? Are you concerned, and do you think they have that same capability to strike in the United States?
"And do you think that, given all you've learned about ISIS over the past year or so, and given all the criticism about your underestimating them, do you think you really understand this enemy well enough to defeat them and to protect the homeland?"
"Alright, well this is another variation on the same question, and let me try it one last time," Obama said. "We have been fully aware of the potential capabilities of them carrying out a terrorist attack. That's precisely why we have been mounting a very aggressive strategy to go after them. As I said before, when you're talking about the ability of a handful of people with not wildly sophisticated military equipment, weapons, who are willing to die, they can kill a lot of people, and preventing them from doing so is challenging for every country."
If there were a swift solution to this, Obama said, other countries that have been subject to these attacks like France and Turkey would have implemented those strategies.