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Obama condemns AIG bonuses

From NBC's Mark Murray
In his remarks at the White House this afternoon, President Obama denounced the millions of dollars in bonuses awarded to executives and workers at American International Group.

"Under these circumstances, it's hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?" Obama asked.

Video: Obama comments on the AIG employee bonuses at the White House.

The president then said he was directing Treasury Secretary Geithner to "pursue every legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole."

And he fired this shot: "All across the country, there are people who work hard and meet their responsibilities every day, without the benefit of government bailouts or multi-million dollar bonuses. And all they ask is that everyone, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, play by the same rules. That is an ethic we must demand."