WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he has complete confidence in Attorney General Eric Holder amid Republican accusations that Holder was aware months earlier than he’s acknowledged about a flawed operation to stem gun-smuggling.

Obama said at a news conference Thursday that Holder has been aggressive in pursuing gun-running and cash transactions that support drug cartels in Mexico.

Obama said he and Holder would have been unhappy had someone suggested that investigators in Operation Fast and Furious were letting guns pass through to arms traffickers.

The attorney general says he found out early this year that such an investigative tactic was being used. Newly released Justice Department documents summarizing many different investigations for the attorney general in July 2010 reference this operation, but not the tactic.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.