President Obama on Fast and Furious: "I certainly was not" aware of gunwalking

President Obama press conference

President Obama today said he had complete confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder and his efforts to stop gunrunning along the southwest border.

Mr. Obama was responding to a question about the ATF Fast and Furious scandal in which suspected traffickers purchased thousands of weapons, and were allowed to send them to Mexican drug cartels. The idea was to try to take down a major cartel.

Memos contradict Holder on "Fast and Furious"

Mr. Obama said that Holder has indicated he was not aware of the controversial tactic known as "letting guns walk." The president added, "Certainly I was not (aware)."

Gunwalking scandal uncovered at ATF

Agent: I was ordered to let guns "walk" into Mexico

The president also said that both he and Holder would have been "very unhappy" if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed to cross the border, and that could have been prevented.

Earlier this week, CBS News reportedHolder was sent memosmentioning Fast and Furious as early as July, 2010.

Read the documents

Read the July 5, 2010 memo

Read the memo to Holder from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer

The Inspector General is looking into the controversy, at Holder's request. Congressional Republicans are also investigating.

  • Sharyl Attkisson
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    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.