Meet the Press

Sen. Feinstein: Obama Was 'Too Cautious' on ISIS


Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said President Barack Obama was “too cautious” when he said the U.S. hasn’t developed a strategy to combat the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

“I think I've learned one thing about this president, and that is he's very cautious. Maybe in this instance, too cautious,” Feinstein told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell during an exclusive interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

Feinstein, a democrat, said she agreed with Senate colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who “laid the basis for confrontation” in a New York Times op-ed published Friday. “In that same newspaper is one by our secretary of state, John Kerry, and in that he does in fact lay out a strategy,” Feinstein said.

“And so hopefully, those plans will coalesce into a strategy that can encourage that coalition from Arab nations,” Feinstein said.

ISIS “is a major varsity team, if you want to use those kinds of monikers,” Feinstein added, saying Obama mistakenly characterized the terrorist group as a “JV team” in January.

“This is a vicious, vicious movement, and it has to be confronted,” she said. “I mean, [ISIS] crossed the border into Iraq before we even knew it happened. So this is a group of people who are extraordinarily dangerous. And they'll kill with abandon.”




— Phil Helsel and Elisha Fieldstadt