President Obama has been criticized in recent days for his changing rhetoric on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) over the last few years.
In an interview with The New Yorker, Mr. Obama compared ISIS with a "jayvee team."
"The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant."
NBC News' Chuck Todd asked the president about his "jayvee team" comment in an interview.
"Keep in mind I wasn't specifically referring to ISIL. I said that regionally, there were a whole series of organizations that were focused primarily locally, weren't focused on the homeland, because a lot of us, when we think about terrorism, the model is Osama bin Laden and 9/11."
November 12, 2015
Mr. Obama told ABC News in an interview hours before the Paris terrorist attacks that ISIS was "contained."
"From the start, our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq," he said. "And in Syria, they'll come in, they'll leave. But you don't see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain."
November 16, 2015
At the G-20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, Obama addressed the Paris attacks and ISIS at a press conference.
"This is precisely why we're' in Iraq and why we're operating in Syria as we speak. It's precisely why we have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL," he said. "There has been an acute awareness on the part of my administration from the start."