The White House on Monday defended President Obama's Sunday night speech by saying the brief address wasn't aimed at unveiling new strategies to fight the Islamic State, and instead was meant to explain what he's been doing to fight the terrorist group.

"[T]he purpose of the speech last night was to speak directly to the American people, not to lay out new policy," White House Communications Director Jen Psaki told MSNBC on Monday. "He wanted to deliver the speech last night to speak directly about what we're doing and what we can do moving forward."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest added that Obama knows he won't placate his harshest critics, but wanted to tell Americans what he's doing to protect them.

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