(CNN) - President Obama says Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s job is safe, according to excerpts of Mr. Obama’s interview this week with CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
If the embattled Secretary were to submit his resignation, Obama said he’d tell him, “Sorry, Buddy, you’ve still got the job,” according to the excerpts.
Obama told CBS that neither he nor Geithner has discussed a possible resignation from the Treasury Department.
Geithner has faced increasing criticism since it was revealed that ailing insurance giant AIG doled out massive bonuses to executives after accepting more than $170 billion from the federal government.
In response to the criticism, Geithner told CNN’s Ali Velshi, Geithner defended his actions, but said he should have known about the scale of the problems sooner.
The president told CBS that criticism is natural, especially given the scope of the financial crisis his administration is facing.
Obama also shot back at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s criticism of some of his administration’s policies.
"How many terrorists have actually been brought to justice under the philosophy that is being promoted by Vice President Cheney? It hasn't made us safer. What it has been is a great advertisement for anti-American sentiment," Obama told CBS.
Since taking office in January, Obama has announced plans to close the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to halt the military trials of suspected terrorists there, and to make CIA officers follow the Army Field Manual's rules on interrogations. Cheney said the administration appears to be returning to the pre-2001 model of treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue, rather than a military threat.
Cheney last week told CNN’s John King that Obama is making some choices that he thinks “will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack."
CBS’ interview with Obama was taped Friday and will air Sunday.