Cnn's John King is getting attetion with this story about our faster-than light Attorney General:
Obama Spoke About "Fast & Furious" Before Holder Claimed He Knew
CNN's John King plays Holder's testimony to Congress on MAY 3, 2011, where he said he had only just recently heard about the Fast & Furious gunrunning program. "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks," Attorney General Eric Holder said.
Then CNN compares Holder's testimony to what President Obama said in MARCH to CNN Espanol about the operation. "I heard on the news about this story that -- Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn't apprehend those who had sent it." Transcript of the segment that aired on "John King USA" below:
KING: He [Holder] says over the last few weeks.
That is on May 3, 2011. Listen to this interview the president of the United States, not the attorney general, the president of the United States, had with CNN Espanol back in March.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There have been problems, you know. I heard on the news about this story that -- Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn't apprehend those who had sent it.
Eric Holder has -- the attorney general has been very clear that he knew nothing about this. We had assigned an I.G., inspector general, to investigate it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: It begs the question, how did the president know about this in March, and how did the president know the attorney general knew nothing about this in march, when the attorney general says in May he just learned about it a couple weeks ago?
Some thoughts: first, let's not place John King in the Journalist Hall of Fame just yet. He is following up on some questions raised by Ed Henry of Fox News at an Oct. 5 press briefing, as described by CNS News:
Q So to clear up any confusion, when was the first time the President --
MR. CARNEY: Again, I --
Q No, no, not the Attorney General. When was the first time the President heard about this program?
MR. CARNEY: Well, as he said in public, in a press conference, he heard about it when he read about it. And that was sometime earlier this year. I think the press conference was in El Salvador when he was on that trip, and he referenced having heard about it recently. I don’t have a specific day.
Jay Carney got back to CNS News with the details:
Later, however, Carney clarified to CNSNews.com that the president had explained how he learned about Fast and Furious not at the press conference in El Salvador but in an interview with CNN Espanol that had aired that same day, March 22.
Note the date. Obama also discussed "Fast and Furious" with Univision's Jorge Ramos on March 23, as reported by CBS News.
So somehow, Obama knew about the controversy around "Fast and Furious" in late March, knew the inspector general had been asked to look at it, and know that Eric Holder knew nothing about it. Yet come May 3, Eric Holder claimed he only learned that "Fast and Furiou" was controversial in "the last few weeks". Puzzling?
Well, sort of - it depends on the meaning of "a few". From late March to early May is about five weeks; even if the inspector general had been involved in mid-March, that is still only a six or seven week lag. Is seven "a few" weeks? Hey, time flies when you're planning civilian trials for Qaeda terrorists and investigating the CIA.
And let's note this previous Administration clarification:
Following the release of the memos, a Justice Department official said that Holder "has consistently said he became aware of the questionable tactics in early 2011 when ATF agents first raised them publicly, and then promptly asked the (inspector general) to investigate the matter."
According to the official, Holder testified in March 2011, to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, of that development...
Well, has anyone seen that March testimony? My time management and search skills are betraying me, but it certainly fits the emerging Administration cover-up timeline. That said, one would presume that a sympathetic Senaor would be talking this testimony up if it were helpful to Holder.
As to how or when Obama learned about "Fast and Furious" on the news, I welcome reader's thoughts. I am pretty sure he didn't read about it in the NY Times, but maybe he tunes in to CBS [on Feb 23, 2011, for example]. Or is Obama a secret Rush listener?
UPDATE: The breakout CBS story cites the Avila indictment, which was unsealed Jan 25, 2011. Avila was a straw purchaser tracked for quite a while and busted after two of "his" gus turned up near two dead Border Patrol agents. That seems to have prompted the ensuing cover-up, or fog bank.