The President told Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to use "leverage and pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole," after learning AIG was going to pay out hundreds of millions to executives.
In remarks delivered at the East Room in front of small business owners, Obama said that AIG is where they are due to "recklessness and greed." He also said he could not understand how AIG could give any bonus to anyone, especially $165 million.
Officials say the White House does not want to take AIG to court – but they will be looking at other options. AIG received over $170 billion from the bailout. The government now owns 80% of AIG.