Sen. King: 'Mistake' for Obama to downplay possible attack

Story highlights

  • The Maine senator says Obama could lose credibility
  • He said the U.S. could face an attack from self-radicalized terrorists now in the country

Washington (CNN)Sen. Angus King, a member of the intelligence committee, on Friday called President Barack Obama's attempts to reassure Americans that there is no credible terrorist threat ahead of the holidays "a mistake."

King, an independent from Maine, said that while Obama is in "a very tough place" as he tries to avoid raising Americans' fears about terrorism, the President's statement on Thursday that there is "no specific, credible threat" of terrorism does not reflect the new terrorist danger that the U.S. faces.
"I honestly have to say I think it's a mistake to make that kind of a reassurance because what we're talking about here is a new kind of terrorism," King said on CNN's "New Day." "There isn't any credible evidence of an imminent plot -- that's true -- but that doesn't mean that there won't be an attack from somebody who's self-radicalized, who's sitting, as they say, in their basement in Peoria or Dallas or Los Angeles or New York."
    King added that he believes Obama's statements aimed at reassuring the public about the lack of a specific threat could undercut his credibility in the event that there is a terrorist attack.
    Obama was criticized in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks as he said in an interview that aired hours before the Paris terrorist attacks that ISIS had been "contained."
    And hours before the San Bernardino terrorist attacks, Obama said ISIS would not pose an "existential threat" to the United States.