"I think it's important for us to understand that the "Fast and Furious" program was a field-initiated program begun under the previous administration," the president said. "When Eric Holder found out about it, he discontinued it. We assigned a inspector general to do a thorough report that was just issued, confirming that in fact Eric Holder did not know about this, that he took prompt action and the people who did initiate this were held accountable," said Mr. Obama.
The "Fast and Furious" program was actually started in October 2009, nine months after Obama came to office, according to an ABC OTUS News report
While similar but more successful programs involving ATF agents were conducted during the Bush administration they were completely separate operations, not part of the Obama administration’s "field-initiated program," as Obama told the crowd. Also, there were no Americans killed in such a program under Bush.
After the president’s falsehood was pointed out, White House officials did not respond to a request for comment by media
Regarding Obama’s embattled Attorney General a White House spokesman
said inside investigators "concluded that although Attorney General Holder was notified immediately of (Border Patrol) Agent (Brian) Terry's shooting and death, he was not told about the connection between the firearms found at the scene of the shooting and Operation "Fast and Furious."
We determined that Attorney General Holder did not learn of that fact until sometime in 2011, after he received Sen. Grassley's January 27 letter. Senior Department officials were aware of this significant and troubling information by December 17, 2010, but did not believe the information was sufficiently important to alert the Attorney General about it or to make any further inquiry regarding this development."
Holder is held in contempt of congress
for not turning over documents related to "Fast and Furious." Mr. Obama has further protected Holder from having to comply with Congress by issuing executive order covering the release of the documents related to the case requested by congressional investigators.