The White House found itself on the defensive Wednesday over the administration’s downplaying of Jewish and Christian victims of Islamist terrorism, as President Obama hosted a summit seeking to gloss over Muslim connections to violent extremism.
Presidential aides struggled to explain Mr. Obama’s reference Wednesday in a newspaper column to extremists with “legitimate grievances” that need to be addressed through the democratic process. And although the attendees at the White House summit predominantly represented Muslim groups, administration officials stuck to their story line that the conference was aimed at generic “violent extremism” not associated with any one religion.
When a reporter for CNN questioned whether the White House was “tiptoeing through the tulips” by avoiding references to radical Islamist terrorists, White House press secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged that most recent terrorist attacks have their roots in Muslim ideology.
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