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Recording surfaces of Bill Clinton saying 'I could have killed bin Laden'

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Bill Clinton told a group of Australian businessmen a day before 9/11 he had a chance to kill Osama bin Laden. (Source: Sky News/CNN) Bill Clinton told a group of Australian businessmen a day before 9/11 he had a chance to kill Osama bin Laden. (Source: Sky News/CNN)
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(SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA/CNN) - A startling audio recording of former President Bill Clinton saying he "could have killed" Osama bin Laden has surfaced.

Incredibly, the president made the remarks just hours before the first plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"And I'm just saying that, you know, if I were Osama bin Laden - he is a very smart guy, I've spent a lot of time thinking about him - and I nearly got him once. I nearly got him. And I could have gotten him - I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn't do it," the president said on the recording.

Clinton said those words on Sept. 10, 2001 while speaking to a small group of businesspeople in Australia.

The recording is just now being made public after it was obtained by the Sky News Australia program Paul Murray Live.

The man in the audience that day who made the recording says Clinton was answering a question about terrorism.

A number of books, along with the 9/11 Commission Report, have acknowledged the Clinton administration considered a December 1998 strike on bin Laden, but scrapped the plan over possible collateral damage.

Copyright 2014 Sky News Australia, Paul Murray Live via CNN. All rights reserved.

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