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Obama monitored Bin Laden operation from White House Situation Room on Sunday

May 02, 2011|By Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
(Pete Souza / White House )

Reporting from Washington — President Obama monitored the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden from the White House Situation Room on Sunday, a senior administration official said.

National security advisor Tom Donilon, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were with the president during the operation, the official said.

CIA Director Leon Panetta was at the White House at several points during the day.

Photos: Osama bin Laden dead

Vice President Joe Biden was present from 1 p.m. EDT until the operation was over, senior officials said. He made calls to several congressional leaders and also reviewed the president's remarks before he gave them.

In March, the president ordered his team to develop "several possible courses of action" for invading the Abbottabad, Pakistan, site where Bin Laden was found, according to the administration official. The team brought several options to the president for review. Those options were "refined" over the course of the next several weeks, but the president did not authorize the bombing of the compound, the official said.

On Friday, the president gave the go-ahead for the Navy SEALs to go in. The original plan was for them to go in Saturday but due to weather considerations, they changed it to Sunday.

Additional details are expected at 1:45 p.m. EDT today, when senior national security officials will join White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to talk about the operation.

Photos: Osama bin Laden dead

cparsons@latimes.com

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