White House struggles with message on threat of ISIS

Obama’s decision last year to ask Congress for authority to level Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces with air strikes is also haunting the administration as it mulls strikes in Syria against ISIS. There have been no guarantees that similar Congressional approval will be sought this time around.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was peppered with questions on the issue Monday. Referring to the proposed strikes against the Assad regime last year, Earnest responded, “That was a different situation, right?”

But he said little that was definitive about whether attacks against ISIS in Syria are now being considered. Any such action would represent a major escalation from the current situation, in which the U.S. is carrying out airstrikes against ISIS positions in northwestern Iraq.