State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that she was standing by her argument that the U.S. can’t just “kill its way out” of war with the Islamic State terror group without also tackling economic disparities in the Middle East.
Harf first made those comments Monday to Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” After Fox News and conservative news websites mocked her as having argued that simply giving jobs to young men in the Middle East would prevent them from radicalizing, Harf pointed out on CNN that even former President George W. Bush had cited poverty as a contributing factor to violent extremism.
Former National Security Agency director Gen. Michael Hayden, whom Harf previously worked for as a spokesperson with the CIA, said Wednesday morning on “Morning Joe” that he thought Harf would “want to take a mulligan” for how she phrased the disputed comments on “Hardball.”
Harf herself came on the program soon after and refused to back down.
“Well, I’m not sure I would take a mulligan on this one,” Harf said. “But I think [Hayden] went on to say something I would agree with. In the short term — and I said this on ‘Hardball’ the other night — we are killing them and we will continue killing ISIS terrorists that pose a threat to us. We’re very good at that.”
“But in the longer term — and this isn’t specific to ISIL — military commanders, politicians of both parties and counterterrorism experts all agree that if you’re going to prevent terror groups from spreading to other places and getting more recruits, you have to look at root causes that lead people to extremism,” she said. “You have to do all of it. You have to take them on militarily, but you have to look at things like governance, like opportunity so these groups aren’t able to get more people to their cause.”
Watch below via MSNBC: