On Thursday, President Obama issued his first comments on the growing unrest taking place in New York City regarding the Wall St. protesters. He refused to condemn any of their actions (despite multiple altercations with police) and said they are just expressing the frustrations of other Americans.

“Obviously, I’ve heard of it. I’ve seen it on television,” he said. “I think it expresses the frustrations that the American people feel. That we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across Main Street. And yet, you’re still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices that got us in this problem in the first place.”

See his response below:

Obama’s comments come on the heels of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke also refusing to condemn the protests, even sympathizing with them. While testifying on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Bernanke said he “cant blame” the protesters who have, at times, tangled with police:

I would just say very generally, I think people are quite unhappy with the state of the economy and what’s happening. They blame, with some justification, the problems in the financial sector for getting us into this mess, and they’re dissatisfied with the policy response here in Washington. And at some level, I can’t blame them. Certainly, 9 percent unemployment and very slow growth is not a good situation. [Emphasis added]