QUOTE OF THE DAY…. White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan was asked this morning about the right-wing attacks against President Obama this week, in the wake of the failed Christmas-day terrorist plot. He replied:

“It’s disappointing to me that either the[former] vice president or others have willfully mischaracterized President Obama’s position and actions or they’re just ignorant of the facts. I think in either case, it doesn’t speak well to sort of the reasons why they sort of went out and said these things.

“I came back into government for the express purpose of making sure that we can make this country safer than it’s ever been in the past. I have worked with the president over the past 12 months now and he is as determined as anybody I’ve worked with.

“I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. I’ve worked with the previous five administrations and this president is determined. And I think he has demonstrated in his language. He says we’re at war with al Qaeda. We’re going to destroy al Qaeda the organization and we’re going to demonstrate through our actions, whether it be in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and other places that al Qaeda might be able to run, but they’re not going to be able to hide.”

If I only had a nickel for every time experts have had to speculate as to whether far-right Republicans are “willfully” dishonest or “ignorant of the facts.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.