The White House on Monday reiterated President Obama’s claims that Americans are not being spied on by the federal government, even though a new report showed the National Security Agency was violating privacy laws thousands of times each year.
Earlier this month, Obama said the White House was not monitoring ordinary Americans, hoping to lessen the backlash against his administration’s controversial surveillance tactics. Just a week later, it was revealed that the NSA had in fact intercepted Americans’ phone calls and emails, including those not connected to terrorism investigations.
Still, the White House is not backing down from the president’s claims.
“Yes, the president does stand by that statement,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said of Obama’s insistence that Americans’ records had not been seized.
The White House said the latest disclosures were produced thanks to an internal NSA audit, citing the report as proof that the programs had adequate oversight. Monday marked the first time the White House publicly responded to the latest damning disclosures about NSA practices.
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