White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday defended the Obama administration's refusal to use the term "radical Islam" for the people carrying out terrorist attacks, saying it was not accurate and would only serve to legitimize their claim to be part of the religion.
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NPR's Mara Liasson repeatedly pressed Earnest on the issue, saying "You have bent over backwards to not ever say that. There must be a reason."
She noted that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and other U.S. allies have said the West is at war with radical Islam. "It seems that the White House has gone to great lengths to call it anything other than, 'warped view,'" she said.
"These are individuals who are terrorists," Earnest said. "And what they did is they've tried to invoke their own distorted, deviant view of Islam to try to justify them."
Though he said the White House doesn't want to legitimize the terrorists' use of Islam, the administration also doesn't condemn others who do.
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