On Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest fended off questions about why President Barack Obama said ’’they’’ and not ’’we,’’ regarding whether there was an intelligence failure in not predicting the rise of the Islamic State, and if Obama was blaming his intelligence officials.
During a ’’60 Minutes’’ interview Sunday, Obama was asked about the United States not anticipating the Islamic State’s threat. He answered that his Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, ’’has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."
Earnest said the president wasn’t blaming U.S. intelligence and several times said, ’’the president has complete confidence in the intelligence community.’’
But ABC News reporter Jonathon Karl pointed to Nov. 13, 2013 testimony in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk who warned about the growing threat and the weakness of Iraqi defenses.
The reporter pressed：’’Did the president hear this? Did he know?’’
Karl added that two months after McGurk’s testimony to Congress, Obama called the Islamic State a ’’JV team.’’
call out：動詞，在本文中為「挑戰某人（說法、行為等）」之意（俚語）。例句：She called him out on his contradictory statement.（她質問他前後矛盾的言論。）
explain away：動詞片語，搪塞、辯解（為淡化重要性或擺脫責任）。例句：When being questioned about his whereabouts, Ben managed to explain it away.（班被問到他的行蹤時，設法搪塞過去了。）
fend off：動詞片語，抵擋、擊退、迴避。例句：Joey fended off these attackers with his bare hands.（喬伊徒手擊退這群攻擊者。）