Obama: Bin Laden has support network inside Pakistan

President Barack Obama, speaking with "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft. CBS

President Barack Obama, speaking with "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft.
CBS

(CBS News) In his "60 Minutes" interview with Steve Kroft, President Obama talked about keeping the Pakistani's in the dark about the military operation that would take place within their country. 

Kroft asked Mr. Obama if he didn't trust the Pakistanis. "If I'm not revealing to some of my closest aides what we're doing, then I sure as heck am not going to be revealing it to folks who I don't know," he said.

The Pakistanis were unaware that the CIA had been conducting surveillance on bin Laden's compound from a nearby safe house in Abbottabad.

U.S. intelligence officials, Congress members and the president have questioned how bin Laden could have hidden in plain sight in Abbottabad, just 35 miles from Pakistan's capital, without the assistance of individuals in Pakistan's government and intelligence services. 

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Transcript: "60 Minutes": Killing Bin Laden--The President's Story

"We think that there had to be some sort of support network for bin Laden inside of Pakistan," Mr. Obama told Kroft. "But we don't know who or what that support network was. We don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and that's something that we have to investigate, and more importantly, the Pakistani government has to investigate.

"And we've already communicated to them, and they have indicated they have a profound interest in finding out what kinds of support networks bin Laden might have had. But these are questions that we're not gonna be able to answer three or four days after the event. It's gonna take some time for us to be able to exploit the intelligence that we were able to gather on site."

The president summed up the tenuous relationship with Pakistan, telling Kroft, "What I can say is that Pakistan, since 9/11, has been a strong counterterrorism partner with us. There have been times where we've had disagreements. There have been times where we wanted to push harder, and for various concerns, they might have hesitated. And those differences are real. And they'll continue."

  • CBS News Staff

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