President Barack Obama on Sunday said that he has not yet ruled out the possibility of holding a trial for Guantanamo Bay terror suspects, but appeared bearish on the possibility of actually holding them.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News that aired before the Super Bowl, the president said that his administration must take into account the growing opposition to the trials among lawmakers and public officials in New York as well as the public.
The Obama administration was first met with support among many New York Democrats when it announced it would hold trials for so-called 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and others in lower Manhattan.
But in recent days, nearly all members of the New York Democratic congressional delegation have voiced opposition to holding the trials in New York City, citing high costs and security measures that could disrupt daily life in the city at best or create a target for an attack at worst.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has also said she prefers the trials be held outside New York City.
Obama defended his administration's handling of the Christmas Day bombing suspect, another area where the administration has been criticized.
The president's opponents say that the FBI blundered when it interrogated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for only 50 minutes before reading him his Miranda rights. Obama said that the FBI recovered read him his rights only "after they obtained actionable intelligence.
"We're not handling any of these cases any differently than they were handled with the Bush administration," referring to the shoe-bomber Richard Reid's interrogation, in which he was read his Miranda rights.