(WASHINGTON) — Asked about the Fast and Furious program at a forum on Thursday, President Obama falsely claimed that the program began under President George W. Bush.
“I think it’s important for us to understand that the Fast and Furious program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration,” the president said. “When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned an inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable.”
In actuality, the Fast and Furious program was started in October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency.
Previous programs involving ATF agents allowing guns to “walk” across the border so as to trace them were run during the Bush presidency, but not this particular “field-initiated program.”
The Inspector General determined Attorney General Eric Holder was immediately notified that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in the line of duty, but he was not told about the connection between the firearms found at the scene of the shooting and Operation Fast and Furious.
ABC News learned that Holder was not made aware of that fact until sometime in 2011, after he received a letter from Senator Charles Grassley on January 27, even though Senior Justice Department officials knew about the troubling information more than a month before.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Maeve Reston, Theodore Schleifer and Eli Watkins, CNN Newswire
MJ Lee, CNN Newswire