White House: We Did Not Threaten Foleys or Sotloffs
'We made clear what the law is,' when families weighed paying ransom
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2014 1:11 PM CDT
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says the White House didn't threaten the Sotloff or Foley families.   (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The White House hit back at allegations from the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff that they were threatened with prosecution as they weighed whether to pay Islamic State militants ransom for their sons. "In terms of what was communicated to the families, in the midst of many, many meetings over the course of this very difficult circumstance, we obviously made clear what the law is," chief of staff Denis McDonough told Fox News Sunday, as per Politico. "We didn’t threaten anybody, but we made clear what the law is." As for America's intent against ISIS, per Fox, "We’ve made it very clear from the start. Just as we have been at war with al-Qaeda, in similar fashion we are at war with (ISIS)." John Kerry similarly backed that terminology, reports Politico, saying that while, "yes, we are at war with (ISIS)," the secretary thinks that "there's, frankly, a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology." Elsewhere on your Sunday dial:

  • Lindsey Graham on ISIS: The Obama administration's efforts against ISIS are "delusional," adding that "It is our fight," and a "turning point in the war on terror" and the administration needs to "rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home."
  • Mike McCaul on ISIS: "Now when (Obama) looks at his legacy, he can't get his head wrapped around what ISIS is and how to defeat it and the imminent, urgent threat that it really is. This threat has been out there for over a year, and finally the White House started to pay attention."
  • Kirsten Gillibrand on Ray Rice scandal: "If the NFL doesn’t police themselves, then we will be looking more into it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had hearings."