First Lady Michelle Obama was asked what she knew about the U.S. mission carried out earlier this year that led to the death of Osama bin Laden in an interview for the September/October 2011 edition of AARP The Magazine.
The president announced that bin Laden was killed in an operation conducted by a small team of American forces at a compound in Pakistan in May. He revealed the news to the nation in a live televised address.
"I knew something was happening, but when it gets down to that level of secrecy, there's just a small number of people who know anything," said the first lady when asked by AARP if she had any knowledge of the mission. She added that she didn't learn of bin Laden's death until she returned home from dinner with friends the night the president broke the news to the public.
"It was later in the evening, and Barack had his suit on, because he was going to the press conference," the first lady explained. "And I said, 'What's going on?'" She recalled wanting to know details about the mission that unfolded and quipped "I was probably like every media person."
The vice president's wife, Jill Biden, told AARP that she "didn't have a clue" about the operation.
HuffPost's Sam Stein and Jen Bendery reported on what the president had to say in announcing the death of bin Laden to the country:
“Tonight I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” Obama said during brief remarks at the White House.
“Justice has been done,” he said, in comments that marked a formal end of the manhunt for the most visible and emotionally-charged symbol of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The president said U.S. intelligence operatives received a tip in August on bin Laden’s whereabouts, which ultimately led to Sunday’s attack. Obama said he determined last week that the U.S. had enough reliable information to take action; by Sunday morning, he had authorized “a small team of Americans” to conduct an operation targeting bin Laden.
“After a fire fight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” the president said. “No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.”
Obama said the 9/11 attacks that bin Laden and his lieutenants orchestrated nearly 10 years ago remain “the worst attack on the American people in our history” and said the images of the crumbling Twin Towers “are seared into our national memory.”
Click here to read more about what Michelle Obama and Jill Biden had to say in the extensive interview they conducted with AARP.