"You know, every time I make a decision — about launching a missile, every time I make a decision about sending troops into battle — you know I understand that this will result in people being killed," he said. "And that is a sobering fact. But it is one that comes with the job."
Obama added insight into his decision-making process that led to last Sunday's raid. He made the final call Friday morning after officials deliberated how likely it was that bin Laden was in the Pakistan hideout and the best way to conduct an attack.
Obama described the decision as a "difficult" one for having to put troops in harm's way, but one in which he ultimately felt confident. The president said he never even told members of his family or most senior White House aides of the operation to capture or kill bin Laden until after it had succeeded.
He also downplayed the notion of any divisions in the Situation Room over what approach to use in order to get bin Laden. The president ultimately decided on the on-the-ground raid, a riskier option, but one that provided the opportunity to confirm bin Laden's death.
"One of the things that we've done here is to build a team that is collegial and where everybody speaks their mind. And there's not a lot of sniping or back biting after the fact," Obama said. "And what I've tried to do is make sure that every time I sit down in the Situation Room, every one of my advisers around there knows I expect them to give me their best assessments."