House Intel chief: Obama should cut vacation short to deal with ISIS

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) suggested President Obama should cut his vacation short in light of the apparent murder of a U.S. journalist by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Rogers on Wednesday said Obama should follow the lead of British Prime Minister David Cameron who reportedly returned from vacation to lead a meeting on the threat posed by the group. 

{mosads}”The optics of being on vacation and not coming away from that vacation, I just think are bad,” Rogers said on Fox News. “That is why I think [Cameron] is going back. He is going to show he is the prime minister and he is taking this matter seriously, and he is on the job making the decisions that you need to make to keep Britain safe.”

During his trip back to Martha’s Vineyard, Obama was briefed on the video released Thursday in which ISIS claimed responsibility for killing journalist James Foley, who went missing in Syria in 2012. The video appears to show Foley being beheaded by an ISIS member.

On Tuesday night, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the administration was still working to confirm its authenticity. But if real, the White House said it is “appalled by the brutal murder.”

According to British reports, Cameron was a day into his vacation but said he would return if the situation in Iraq deteriorated.  

“We need that same optics for this president,” Rogers said. “We need to show the world that this president is leading at a very difficult time. I hope he reconsiders.”

Earlier this month, Obama authorized targeted strikes against ISIS to help protect civilian populations and U.S. personnel. The United States has launched dozens of strikes since. 

Rogers reiterated that the threat posed by ISIS is serious. Some fighters with ISIS have western passports, which would allow them to enter the United States easily, Rogers said. 

“Some thousands of Europeans [are] believed to be operating with ISIL in Syria and Iraq that have western passports,” he said, using another acronym for the terror group. “That means you have access to the United States. This is as serious as it gets.”   

Tags Barack Obama Islamic State of Iraq and Syria James Foley Mike Rogers vacation
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