A White House official doubted Saturday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) would be defeated in the next year.
"[ISIS] will continue to exist. You are not going to eradicate [ISIS] in the next year," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a briefing, when asked whether he expected the threat of ISIS to be eliminated by the end of President Obama's time in office. "Just as al Qaeda continues to exist, although significantly degraded."
"What we would like to see is that we have substantially taken away their safe haven, so that they are not controlling these major swaths of territory and population centers," Rhodes said.
The White House official outlined a further hope that "the Syrian civil war has some political resolution around it and the Syrians can see the pathway to a more peaceful and stable future."
The comments come just weeks after Mr. Obama attempted to reassure the nation on the fight against the terror group.
"We are hitting [ISIS] harder than ever," Mr. Obama told reporters in December, after he gathered for a briefing with members of his national security team. "As we squeeze its heart, we'll make it harder for [ISIS] to pump its terror and propaganda to the rest of the world."
And shortly after last month's terrorist-inspired shooting in San Bernardino, California, the president told NPR that ISIS "is not an organization that can destroy the United States."
The extremist organization "is not a huge industrial power that can pose great risks to us institutionally or in a systematic way," Mr. Obama said.
Rhodes previewed the White House's counterterrorism efforts, further detailing how the U.S. intends to "choke off" ISIS' ability to move money in and out of Syria and Iraq to finance their terror attacks.
The official eventually expects to have the "architecture" in place where "where the remnants of [ISIS] can be dealt with through direct action and counterterrorism operations."
Rhodes also responded to concerns that an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group is using footage from a Donald Trump speech in a recruitment video.
The propaganda video, from Somalia-based al-Shabaab, uses a soundbite from a rally where the GOP front-runner calls for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the United States.
"Nobody should be surprised when terrorist organizations try to recruit people by pointing to any suggestion that the United States and Islam are in conflict," Rhodes said, though he wouldn't single out particular candidates.
"The terrorists want us to act like we are at war with Islam -- that's how they recruit people. That's how they stir up grievances," he said. "We need to kill terrorists on the battlefield, but we also need to defeat this narrative that allows them to recruit people."
CBS News' Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.