On Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press,” President Obama told host Chuck Todd to “keep in mind [he] wasn’t specifically referring to (Islamic State)” when he made his infamous comment that “if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
PolitiFact today rated that claim “false,” concluding:
Obama may not have specifically said Islamic State, but it’s clear he was talking about them. [New Yorker editor David] Remnick was referencing events in Syria and Iraq, particularly the takeover of Fallujah, which was conducted by Islamic State, and Obama referred to the group responsible for that as “a JV team.”
Obama said his JV comment “wasn’t specifically referring to ISIL.” He was not specifically asked about Islamic State, but it’s pretty clear this is the group that was being referenced in the conversation. The transcript backs this up, as do news events from the time of the discussion.
White House fact checker Glenn Keller came to the same conclusion Sept. 3, awarding White House spokesman Josh Earnest four Pinocchios for claiming the president “was not singling out ISIL, he was talking about the very different threat that is posed by a range of extremists around the globe.”