Joe Biden, vice president of the United States on Tuesday contradicted Hillary Clinton’s and his own latter accounts of the debate over the raid that killed Osama bin Laden but he and the White House chief of staff at the time say this one is the accurate one.
The comment also seems to contradict what Obama himself said about the decision, during his third 2012 debate with Mitt Romney, while reflecting on the Republican nominee’s suggestion that he should have sought permission for the raid from the Pakistani government.
“Even some in my own party, including my current vice president, had the same critique as you did,” Obama stated then.
Tuesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest avoided questions about Biden’s new account of the debate, saying that comments about what happened concerning the decision should be left to the people who were in the room, which he was not.
speaking at a forum at George Washington University on Tuesday morning, Biden said that he remembered being in favor of the raid all along, but worried about saying so in front of the other people in the room if Obama ultimately decided against it, to avoid causing a problem for the president on such a major decision.
“It would have been a mistake. Imagine if I had said in front of everybody, ‘Don’t go’, or ‘Go,’ and his decision was a different decision,” Biden stated. “It undercuts that relationship. I never — on a difficult issue, never say what I think finally until I go up in the Oval [Office] with him alone.” “As we walked out of the room, walked upstairs, I told him my opinion: I thought he should go, but follow his own instincts,” Biden added.