Nightly News   |  November 26, 2011

White House treads lightly around Pakistan situation

The White House is being careful in its response in part because officials don't have all the facts. NBC's Kristen Welker talks to NBC's Lester Holt about the balancing act.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

LESTER HOLT, anchor: Pakistan already on the rocks, the White House is choosing its words about this carefully. Kristen Welker is on the north lawn. Kristen , what's the administration saying?

KRISTEN WELKER reporting: Good evening, Lester . Well, the White House is being quite measured in its response, in part because White House officials don't have all of the facts right now and also because the US relationship with Pakistan is so incredibly complicated. So here's what White House officials had to say earlier today in a statement that we have saying quote, "senior US civilian and military officials have been in touch with their Pakistani counterparts from Islamabad , Kabul and Washington to express our condolences, our desire to work together, to determine what took place, and our commitment to the US - Pakistan Partnership ." Now still some analysts say that this whole incident might put us back to square one , back to the days right after Osama bin Laden was killed. Now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan last month and urged top officials there to get tough on militants. Some analysts believe this latest incident could undo any gains that were made during that visit. Now, analysts watching this quite closely, in fact, one telling me that this could be a quote "catastrophic blow to the US relationship with Pakistan ," although another expert warns it is still very early and might be too early to know what the full impact of this will be. Lester :

HOLT: Kristen , thank you.