Brennan: Obama Made ‘Gutsy Decision’ On Bin Laden Raid

White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said Sunday that President Obama made a “gutsy” call in ordering the raid that killed Osama bin Laden one year ago.

Brennan, trying hard not to get into the politics of the issue, affirmed that the decision was hardly a no-brainer as there were many differences of opinion among top-level officials.

Here’s his exchange with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week:

BRENNAN:  I don’t do politics.  I don’t do the campaign.  I am not a Democrat or Republican.  I’m a counter-terrorism adviser to the president.  All that I know is that the president made the decision when he was given the opportunity to take a gutsy decision, to carry out that raid with our Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  The president made that decision.  I think the American people are, you know, clearly very appreciative and supportive of that decision.  We’re safer today as a result.  And, therefore, all I know is that the president made the decision when he had to. 

STEPHANOPOULOS:  You said it was a gutsy call.  Mitt Romney has said that any president would have made the same decision.  Do you agree with that? 

BRENNAN:  All I know is that the president made the call when he needed to.  And as people have said, it was a divided room as far as, you know, some of the principal sentiments on this issue were concerned. 

STEPHANOPOULOS:  It’s been reported that the vice president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of state all against it, yet the president overrode them. 

BRENNAN:  There was active discussion up until the last moment on this.  And there were differences of view, clearly.

BRENNAN:  All I know is that the president made the call when he needed to.  And as people have said, it was a divided room as far as, you know, some of the principal sentiments on this issue were concerned.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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