President Barack Obama gave a full-throated defense of his attorney general, Eric Holder on Thursday.
But in 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama called for President George W. Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, to resign over the firing of a group of U.S. attorneys.
Obama, who voted against Gonzales’ confirmation, told CNN that Gonzales seemed to “conceive” his role as the “president’s attorney” instead of the “people’s attorney.”
“Part of the role of the attorney general is to say to the executive branch, ‘Here are the limits of your power. Here are the things that you can’t do.’ I don’t think Alberto Gonzales ever told the president that there was something he could not do,” Obama said in 2007.
“What you get a sense of is an attorney general who saw himself as enabler of the administration as opposed to somebody who was actually trying to look out for the American people’s interests. For that reason, I think it’s time for him to step down and for another attorney general — who can exercise some independence — to be put for the remainder of this president’s term.”
Five years later, Obama was asked in a Univision interview on Thursday why he has not fired his Attorney General Eric Holder over the Fast and Furious operation that resulted in the deaths of approximately 100 Mexicans and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Despite the controversy surrounding Fast and Furious, Obama said on Thursday that he has “completely confidence” in Holder.
“I will tell you that Eric Holder has my complete confidence, because he has shown himself to be willing to hold accountable those who took these actions, and is passionate about making sure that we’re preventing guns from getting into the wrong hands,” Obama said.