Even though he clearly did.
Via The Hill:
President Obama wasn’t passing the buck by saying intelligence officials underestimated the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the White House said Monday.
Press secretary Josh Earnest said officials were aware of the threat posed by ISIS, but misjudged the will of the Iraqi military to fight back and how successful the terror group would be at capturing territory. He said “everybody” — from the intelligence community to the White House — made the same mistake, but that Obama was ultimately responsible.
“The president’s commander in chief and he’s the one who takes responsibility for ensuring that we have the kinds of policies in place that are required to protect our interests around the globe,” Earnest said.
Reporters grilled Earnest about Obama’s remarks Sunday on “60 Minutes,” where he at one point said Jim Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has acknowledged misreading “what had been taking place in Syria” with regards to ISIS.
The remark has created a firestorm, with Republicans and some former intelligence officials arguing the president was trying to shirk responsibility.
Earnest insisted that was “not what the president’s intent was,” adding that the comment was meant as a general reflection on the difficulty of assessing the security situation in the region. He also said the president remained “absolutely” confident in the intelligence community.