White House Mum on When Obama Learned of DOJ's Gun-Running Scheme

Fred Lucas | July 7, 2011 | 4:33am EDT
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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney . (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) – White House Spokesman Jay Carney has failed to follow-up on a statement he made at the June 27 White House briefing that he would get back to a reporter with the exact date that President Barack Obama first became aware of  “Operation Fast and Furious,” a botched sting operation in which U.S. officials knowingly allowed smugglers to buy guns at licensed U.S. firearms dealers.

“I’ll have to get back to you," Carney said at the briefing. "I don’t have an exact date for you.”

The operation was halted shortly after two of the guns from the operation were found at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010. It was an operation ran primarily through the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

The Justice Department in Washington, D.C., the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Arizona, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were also involved, according to findings by congressional investigators.

On June 27, CNSNews.com asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, “Could you tell me what is the exact date that the president learned about the Justice Department ATF operation to allow guns to flow into Mexico?”

Carney apparently had trouble understanding the question, saying,  “I mean, I think I’ve answered this question a bunch about -- about what he learned?”

CNSNews.com said, “What is the exact date that he learned about it?”

Carney apparently still did not understand. “The exact thing that he learned?”

President Barack Obama. (AP Photo)

CNSNews.com again clarified, “Exact date -- date.”

Carney finally responded, “I’ll have to get back to you. I don’t have an exact date for you.”

The White House has since not responded to questions about an exact date or approximate date when Obama learned about the operation.

The next day, June 28, CNSNews.com sent a follow-up e-mail to Carney. Then on July 6, CNSNews.com e-mailed Carney and the White House press office, and called the White House press office to ask for the exact date the president became aware of “Operation Fast and Furious.” In lieu of a precise date, CNSNews.com said an approximate date of a month and year would be helpful.

Neither Carney nor another White House spokesperson replied.

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