Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has clarified a comment he said over the weekend that he has access to better intelligence on Syria than the president.
President Obama, speaking today in Antalya, Turkey, addressed Carson's comments indirectly.
“Folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do," Obama said. “Present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisers are better than the chairman of my joint chiefs of staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate.”
Carson, in response to the president's comments this morning, said his language was “tongue in cheek.”
“When I said we have better advisers, that was tongue in cheek,” Carson told ABC News. “I hope we don’t, that would be very alarming if we did.”
Last week, Carson suggested his intelligence on Syria was better than the administration's, saying he knows more about foreign policy than the White House.
Carson’s evidence, which the campaign recently released to ABC News, includes Google satellite images of alleged Chinese-made radar systems and photos of a Syrian fighter standing in front of Chinese made SUVs. Along with the images, his campaign released a brief summary of its evidence.
“I have several sources that I’ve gotten material from. I am surprised my sources are better than theirs,” Carson said. “[The White House] will have an opportunity to see my material.”
When asked last week about Carson's claims, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was at loss for words.
“Maybe it violates my job description as a spokesperson to be speechless,” Earnest laughed. “But I think in this case, I am.”
In a press conference today, Carson did attack Obama’s refugee program, calling it a “foolish policy inside our government.”
"Allowing these refugees to enter our country without knowing who they are is foolish. I am talking to many experts as I can and I have yet to find one who thinks that the Obama Syrian ISIS strategy is anything but a failure,” Carson said to reporters. "The only thing that seems to be contained is this foolish policy inside our government."