Obama: 'I Think Appropriate Actions Will Be Taken' in ATF's Botched Gun-Tracking Project

June 30, 2011 - 8:06 AM

Obama

President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - Only one reporter, the Washington correspondent for a Chilean newspaper, asked President Obama about Operation Fast and Furious at his news conference on Wednesday.

Members of Congress and the government of Mexico “are still waiting for answers” about the ATF's botched effort to track guns sold in the U.S. to drug cartels in Mexico, said Antonieta Cádiz, who was the eighth reporter to ask the president a question.

"Are you planning to replace ATF leadership? And when can we expect the results of the current investigation?," she asked. Cadiz also asked the president a question about immigration.

Obama's response: "On the second question, as you know, my attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico. The investigation is still pending. I’m not going to comment on a current investigation.  I’ve made very clear my views that that would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we got to find out how that happened.  As soon as the investigation is completed, I think appropriate actions will be taken."

As CNSNews.com previously reported, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) believes that Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson should be forced out of his job because of the “bad judgment” ATF exhibited in allowing thousands of guns to be sold to Americans acting on behalf of Mexican criminals.

Issa said the bad judgment goes higher than Melson:  Attorney General Eric Holder “should have known – I believe it was his obligation to know” what was going on at ATF, Issa said. Holder wasn’t doing his job properly if he didn’t know, the congressman told Fox News last week. Issa is leading a House inquiry into the ATF's actions.

Two of the guns ATF intended to track ended up in Arizona, at the place where U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in December.

On Monday, President Obama's spokesman refused to say if Obama wants the ATF director to resign.