LAS VEGAS President George W. Bush says he was "not overjoyed" when President Barack Obama told him Osama bin Laden was dead because the campaign to track down the al Qaeda leader was done not "out of hatred, but to exact judgment."
ABC News reports Mr. Bush made his first candid public comments on bin Laden's killing Wednesday at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas.
Mr. Bush said he was eating souffle at a restaurant when he received the call from president Obama, according to an ABC News contributor at the conference. Bush said he went home to take the call and, "Obama simply said, 'Osama Bin Laden is dead.'"
Bush told the audience of about 1,800 people that President Obama described the secret U.S. mission to raid bin Laden's compound in detail, and Bush told the president that the decision to put the plan into motion was a "good call."
But he said he was "not overjoyed," explaining that the search for bin Laden was done not "out of hatred but to exact judgment."
"The intelligence services deserve a lot of credit. They built a mosaic of information, piece by piece," Bush said, claiming no credit for himself.
Bush has kept a low profile since bin Laden's death May 1. He has declined interview requests and declined Mr. Obama's invitation to join him at a ceremony at the former World Trade Center.