May 2nd, 2011
09:20 PM ET

Obama says country is united over Osama bin Laden's death

WASHINGTON (CNN) Barack Obama hosted a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders at a dinner Monday evening, where spoke in front of cameras for just about 3 minutes.

When the president cited the news of Osama bin Laden's death, the room burst into a sustained standing ovation for some 30 seconds.

"We were reminded again that there is a pride in what this nation stands for, and what we can achieve, that runs far deeper than party, far deeper than politics," he said before thanking the military and counter-terrorism professionals who made the mission successful.

To the Republicans and Democrats in the room, Obama then expressed his hope for dealing with future political debates.

"And so tonight, it is my fervent hope that we can harness some of that unity and some of that pride to confront the many challenges that we still face," he said.

"And please have a little bit of fun.  All right?" he added.

The press was then escorted out of the East Room.

Below is the full transcript, as released by the White House.

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Topics: President Obama • The News • White House
Obama to Ground Zero Thursday
May 2nd, 2011
08:43 PM ET

Obama to Ground Zero Thursday

Barack Obama will head to New York on Thursday, where he will visit Ground Zero and meet with 9/11 families, CNN has learned.

Obama last visited the site where the Twin Towers once stood to mark the 7th anniversary of the attack during his presidential campaign in 2008.


Topics: President Obama • The News
May 2nd, 2011
07:13 PM ET

Tense moments

These pictures were taken by White House photographer Pete Souza on May 1, 2011, while President Barack Obama and senior staff oversaw the mission against Osama bin Laden.

Obama’s poker face hides Osama mission
May 2nd, 2011
05:21 PM ET

Obama’s poker face hides Osama mission

WASINGTON (CNN) In the days leading up to the attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound, President Obama stuck to his routine and kept a poker face even though he was on the verge of getting his most wanted terrorist.

While he juggled a trip to tornado ravaged Alabama and the Kennedy Space Center, made jokes at the White House Correspondents dinner, and played a half round of golf, the president was holding secret meetings and weighing intelligence before giving the operation a green light.

The decision to “undertake the operation,” came early Friday morning before the president flew to Alabama, according to a White House official.

It happened during a meeting in the Diplomatic Room. The president was joined by his Chief of Staff Bill Daley, his National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and deputy Denis McDonough, and his homeland security adviser John Brennan.

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Medals of Honor
President Barack Obama holds hands with Dorothy Mathews , sister of U.S. Army Private First Class Henry Svehla
May 2nd, 2011
04:15 PM ET

Medals of Honor

WASHINGTON (CNN)— President Obama awarded posthumous Medals of Honor to two soldiers who died in the Korean War on Monday in the East Room.

In September 1951 US Army Private First Class Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano ordered his men to fall back as he stayed back manning a machine gun till his men could get to safety.  He kept firing until he ran out of ammunition and then continued fighting hand to hand until he was killed.

 In June of 1952 US Army Private First Class Henry Svehla, threw himself on an enemy grenade to saving the lives of his fellow soldiers.

 The president said “These two soldiers made the ultimate  sacrifice when they were just 19 and 21 years old.  Age did not weary them.  In the hearts of their families, they remain forever young - loving sons, protective brothers, hometown kids who stood tall in America's hometown - in America's uniform. “

POTUS schedule for Monday, May 2
May 2nd, 2011
07:43 AM ET

POTUS schedule for Monday, May 2

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The crowds celebrating the news of the death of Osama bin Laden were still chanting until outside the White House until nearly 4:30a. By now, Pennsylvania Avenue has returned to normal with tourists and joggers. The White House released President Obama's schedule before he made the historic announcement on Sunday night  but so far his only public event is later this morning when he presents the Medal of Honor to two Korean War soldiers for their heroic actions and sacrifice in two separate battles. Also tonight, the president and first lady and the Bidens will host a dinner for bipartisan leaders and their spouses and other cabinet members in the East Room. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will brief reporters at 1:00p. We'll keep you updated with any changes to the president's schedule throughout the day.

Click below for the full guidance from the White House. FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • The Vault
President George W. Bush on death of Osama bin Laden
Large crowds gathered outside the White House react to news that Osama bin Laden is dead
May 2nd, 2011
12:11 AM ET

President George W. Bush on death of Osama bin Laden

"Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001.  I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission.  They have our everlasting gratitude.  This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.  The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done. "