President Obama today briefed the American people from the Pentagon to let them know that “We are hitting ISIL harder than ever.” What about al-Qaeda, though? The president conducted an interview with Oliver Knox of Yahoo News on Cuba and the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes described it as “maddening.”

To his credit, the president acknowledged Ibrahim al-Qosia, a former resident of Gitmo and one-time cook and chauffeur for Osama bin Laden who was released to Sudan in 2012 and recently reappeared in a video as the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). However, the president played down the problem of recidivism.

Obama said that reports of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, freed in 2012, joining al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula were not cause to revisit his push to close the notorious prison for suspected terrorists.

“I am absolutely persuaded, as are my top intelligence and military advisers, that Guantanamo is used as a recruitment tool for organizations like ISIS,” he said. “And if we want to fight ’em, then we can’t give ’em these kinds of excuses.”

Obama also said that it was to be expected that “a handful” of the hundreds of Guantanamo Bay prisoners released over the past 14 years would join, or rejoin, terrorist groups.

Hayes, both on Twitter and on Fox News’ “Special Report,” thought that it was important to clarify the size of that embittered “handful.”

Hayes didn’t hold back on TV, calling out the president for “breathtaking dishonesty.”