Attorney General Eric Holder denied on Tuesday that the U.S. is at war, mere days after President Obama asked Congress to authorize the use of military force against ISIS, and as the U.S. continues a bombing campaign against the terror group which began in August.
Holder made the comment at the National Press Club in response to a reporter’s question about the Justice Department’s prosecution of reporters.
“I will use an extreme example, perhaps unfair. In World War II, if a reporter had found out about the existence of the Manhattan Project, is that something that should have been disclosed?” Holder said.
“Now, we’re not at a time of war, I understand, and I said it’s an extreme example,” he added.
The Authorized Use of Military Force proposal Obama submitted to Congress last week will, if approved, allow the U.S. military to use ground troops, expand air operations and conduct a war without geographic boundaries.
Holder’s comment — while seemingly off-the-cuff — puts him at odds with Secretary of State John Kerry, who was forced to admit last year that the U.S. is at war with both ISIS and al-Qaida.