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White House and Pentagon Both Clarify U.S. Is ‘At War with ISIL’

Today, both the White House Press Secretary and the Pentagon Press Secretary had to clarify remarks made yesterday by John Kerry that the U.S. is not “at war” with ISIS. And… guess what? Today they said we basically are.

First up, Josh Earnest. At today’s press briefing, he was asked about Kerry’s remarks, and while he attempted to parse exactly what “war” is, he did actually say “the United States is at war with ISIL.”

Meanwhile, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby faced questions about the same issue during his briefing around the same time this afternoon. When asked about hesitating about the use of the word “war,” Kirby clarified, “What I said is it’s not the Iraq War of 2002. But make no mistake, we know we are at war with ISIL in the same way we’re at war and continue to be at al-Qaeda and its affiliates.”

So just to clarify, yesterday Kerry said it’s not precisely correct to say the U.S. is at war with ISIS, but today both the White House and Pentagon Press Secretaries both said the U.S. is “at war with ISIL.”

So… that clear enough?

Watch Kirby’s remarks below, via C-SPAN 3:

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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