Obama also voiced caution over how the United States would proceed on Syria, given the recent signs that chemical weapons had been used in that nation’s civil war.
“We now have evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria,” the president said. “But we don’t know when they were used, how they were used, or who used them.... If we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, then we can find ourselves where we can’t mobilize the international community to support what we do."
On the Boston Marathon bombings, the president backed up the Federal Bureau of Investigation, following the revelation that the FBI had been tipped off by the Russian government over the activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers alleged to have detonated bombs at the marathon.
“Based on what I've seen so far, the FBI performed its duties; Department of Homeland Security did what it was supposed to be doing,” Obama said. “But this is hard stuff.”
Obama was responding to a question about a report that the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has ordered a broad review of all the intelligence-gathering before the April 15 attack.
The president called Mr. Clapper’s review “standard procedure,” saying that whenever there’s an incident, the government reviews all the steps taken beforehand and determines if any lessons can be learned.