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Carney Won’t Confirm that Obama Didn’t Know NSA Tapped Merkel’s Phone

• October 28, 2013 2:08 pm

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White House spokesman Jay Carney would not confirm a Wall Street Journal report Monday that President Obama didn't learn until this summer the National Security Agency had been tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone for years.

Carney said he would not get into details of internal discussions before going into a prepared statement about today's "highly interconnected" world and how the administration continued to adapt to new communications methods:

Q: There's a report out from the Wall Street Journal that says that the president did not learn until this summer that the NSA had been tapping Angela Merkel's phone for years, as it had been with other world leaders. Was the president kept out of the loop about what the NSA was doing?

JAY CARNEY: What I can tell you is two things. First, that I'm not going to get into details of internal discussions. But the president clearly feels strongly about making sure that we are not just collecting information because we can, but because we should. I noted the other day a readout from a phone call the president had with Chancellor Merkel, made clear that we do not and will not monitor the chancellor's communications. More broadly, I think it is worth stepping back and looking at a couple of things. Today's world is highly interconnected and the flow of large amounts of data is unprecedented. There are communications methods that we hadn't even conceived 10 years ago that we are adapting to, and we know innovation is going to continue. If we're going to keep our citizens and our allies safe, we have to continue to stay ahead of these changes and that's what our intelligence community has been doing extraordinarily well. These databases are part of the reason we've been able to foil numerous terrorist plots and adapt to a post-9/11 security environment.

Published under: Angela Merkel, Jay Carney, NSA