“Meet the Press” Exclusive: Sen. Feinstein Says Pres. Obama Was “Too Cautious” on ISIS

Extended interview with Andrea Mitchell airs Sunday on “Meet the Press”

AUGUST 30, 2014 — Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein discussed the threat of ISIS in an exclusive interview with NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Saturday, saying President Obama was “maybe in this instance, too cautious” in his response. Feinstein also stressed that ISIS is “a major varsity team,” not a “JV team” as President Obama described them earlier this year.

Mitchell’s extended conversation with Feinstein will air this Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

A transcript of this preview is below and video is online here: http://nbcnews.to/1Ce1uts. If used, must credit NBC News “Meet the Press” with onscreen “Exclusive” credit clearly visible and unobstructed at all times.

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Air Date: Sunday, August 31, 2014

The fact is, they have been on the march now for months, if not years. So why does the president still say we don’t have a strategy yet? Doesn’t that project weakness from the White House?

Well, I mean, I know what you want me to say. But I’m not going to say it in that sense. I think I’ve learned one thing about this president, and that is he’s very cautious. Maybe in this instance, too cautious.
I  do know that the military, I know that the State Department, I know that others have been putting plans together. And so hopefully, those plans will coalesce into a strategy that can encourage that coalition from Arab nations, Jordan’s at jeopardy, Lebanon’s at jeopardy, the UAE and other countries are in jeopardy. So there is good reason for people to come together now and begin to approach this as a very real threat, that it in fact is.

The president back in January told The New Yorker magazine, David Remnick, that ISIS is the JV team. That was clearly wrong.

Well, I think it’s wrong too. I think it’s a major varsity team, if you want to use those kinds of monikers. But I see nothing that compares with its viciousness. I’ve been on the intelligence committee now since before 9/11, and I’ve watched this evolution of non-state actors into world terror very carefully and closely.
And this is really the first group that has the wherewithal in terms of financing, the fighting machine in terms of a structure — a heavy equipment, heavy explosives, the ability to move quickly. I mean, they 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.

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