White House chief of staff Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughPhotos of the Week: Veterans Day, AstroWorld Festival memorial and COP26 protestors Defense & National Security — Biden marks Veterans Day Biden marks Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery MORE on Sunday reiterated the long-held goal to close Guantanamo Bay before the end of President Obama's second term.
“The president has said from the beginning of this administration that we will close Gitmo because it’s bad for our national security and because it’s too costly,” McDonough said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We ought to make sure that we’re in a position to close that facility because it strengthens us when we close it. That’s what the president will do. He feels an obligation to his successor to close that, and that’s why we’re going to do it,” he added.
“You are going to do it?” Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed.
“Sure we are,” McDonough responded.
Wallace asked McDonough whether the president will go around Congress to close the terrorist detention facility if the legislature refuses to act. Obama has hinted he may use executive action to close Guantanamo, which Democrats have called a powerful terrorist recruiting tool.
“I said we’re going to close it, he [Obama] said he’s going to present a plan to Congress to do that,” McDonough said.
McDonough said the president will "make some final determinations" about the base after proposing a plan to Congress.
He would not say whether Obama will issue an executive order on the matter.