Biden Changes Tune on Raid That Killed Bin Laden

He now says he privately urged Obama to go ahead with it
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2015 5:40 PM CDT
Biden Changes Tune on Raid That Killed Bin Laden
Vice President Joe Biden offered a new take on his advice to President Obama on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden during a tribute to former Vice President Walter Mondale on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Joe Biden has long claimed he never advised President Obama to go through with the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It's a claim he's now changing—or at least slightly tweaking—as he possibly prepares to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN reports. During a cabinet meeting prior to the raid, Biden urged caution and advocated for further intelligence gathering. He now says that wasn't the end of the story. “As we walked out of the room and went upstairs, I told [Obama] my opinion, that I said that I thought he should go but to follow his own instincts,” the New York Times quotes Biden during an event Tuesday.

At the event, Biden said he only offered his opinion on controversial issues while alone with Obama in order to present a united front to the cabinet, the Times reports. In addition to contradicting himself, Biden contradicted Clinton Tuesday, saying only former CIA director Leon Panetta was unequivocally in favor of the raid, according to CNN. In her book, Clinton claims she immediately supported the raid. It's a topic she brought up during last week's debate, ABC News reports. “I think while you're talking about the tough decision that President Obama had to make about Osama bin Laden, where I was one of his few advisers,” she said. (More Joe Biden stories.)

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