On Thursday, the White House continued to claim that the Taliban are not a terrorist organization. It is worth noting that the U.S. Treasury Department has the Taliban listed as a specialized terrorist group.
“They do carry out tactics that are akin to terrorism. They do pursue terror attacks in an effort to try to advance their agenda. By designating them in the way that you have described does allow the United States to put in place some financial sanctions against the leaders of that organization that has been beneficial to our ongoing efforts against the Taliban.
"It’s also important to draw a distinction between the Taliban and al Qaeda.
"The Taliban has resorted to terror tactics. But those terror tactics have principally been focused on Afghanistan. The reason that we are concerned about that is there obviously are a significant number of personnel, including military personnel in Afghanistan that are in harm’s way. The Taliban is a very dangerous organization.
“[The Taliban has] a different classification. They have a classification that allows us to pursue financial sanctions against them.
“That is different than an organization like al Qaeda that has much broader global aspirations to carry out acts of violence and acts of terror against Americans and American interests across the globe.
"There is no doubt that both of these organizations are dangerous and have drawn our attention," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said to ABC White House correspondent John Karl.