In an interview on the Michael Smerconish Radio Show this afternoon – simulcast on MSNBC - President Obama wouldn’t give any details about the Awlaki killing.
Host Smerconish asked President Obama if he gave that order to kill the Yemeni cleric.
“You know, I can’t talk about operational details, Michael,” the president said. “This is something that we had been working with the Yemeni government on for quite some time. There’s been significant cooperation at the intelligence levels with a lot of countries in the region.”
The president said: “We are very pleased that Mr. Awlaki is no longer in a position to directly threaten the United States homeland as well as our allies around the world.”
Repeating comments he made this morning, the president noted that, “this is the guy who was at the forefront of ordering the Christmas Day bomber to carry out his plans. They had put bombs in cartridges, printer cartridges that were set to go off in U.S. cargo planes and had it not been for outstanding intelligence work and cooperation with some of our partners that could have been a catastrophe. This was a guy who was operationally involved in trying to kill Americans and the fact that he is no longer around to initiate the kind of propaganda that also was recruiting people all around the world to that murderous cause, I think is something that’s very good for American security.”
-Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce