ANDERSON COOPER: I just want to play again the president's past comments on this because there is a stark distinction between what he said tonight and what he had said in the past. Let's just look at some of his commentary.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case.
I can't do it by myself. We are going to have to change the laws in Congress.
The notion that somehow by myself I can go and do these things, it any just not true.
What I have said is that there is a path to get this done. That's through Congress.
I'm the president of the United States. I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.
COOPER: So, I mean, other than his frustration, what has changed -- constitution scholar. What changed to allow him to do this?
JAY CARNEY: Here's what I say. I think if he could have those words back, especially the first clip where he specifically talked about suspending deportations. That is literally what he is doing today. In, later instances including when I was there he would speak carefully about what he could not do as president.
He can't change the law. He can't provide a path to citizenship. He can't do the things that only Congress can do. But he can using executive authority do what he did tonight, which is, order the agencies to exercise prosecutorial discretion in terms of how they deport people.