"The president has been disturbed at a lot of the political rhetoric that we've seen directed at Muslims. And the president has spoken about that I think quite forcefully over the last couple of weeks," Earnest said.
"At the same time, I think the President is confident that the vast majority of Americans understand this core principle that people aren't targeted for violence based on their religious beliefs. That is a core value of our country. That is a value that is worth defending. It is also a value that is broadly shared by just about every American," he asserted.
"If there are some specific steps that need to be taken to protect a mosque against a specific threat, I have total confidence that local law enforcement is committed to that effort. And if they need the support of the federal government, I'm sure that they will receive it," he noted. Earnest said Obama has expressed his concern about some of the grossly irresponsible and in some cases outright bigoted political rhetoric heard over the last several weeks. Obama, he said does not believe, importantly, that that makes the country safer.