President Barack Obama learns what the National Security Agency is up to through the press and then follows up with the agency for details, he told a press conference at the St. Petersburg G20 summit.
An AFP reporter asked Obama to respond to the most recent NSA leaks that officials in Brazil and Mexico were being spied on.
“I said that I would look into the allegations,” Obama said. “I mean, part of the problem here is we get these through the press and then I've got to go back and find out what’s going on with respect to these particular allegations - I don’t subscribe to all these newspapers, although I think the NSA does - now at least. [Laughter.]”
Obama is getting most of his information on the NSA from former NSA employee Edward Snowden because the press is being informed by leaked documents from the fugitive. This contradicts former claims from the president that there is a great deal of oversight at work when it comes to national security.
Furthermore, it seems clear that the NSA doesn’t realize just want documents Snowden walked away with.
Obama said he met with the presidents of Brazil and Mexico and is taking allegations of spying “very seriously.”
“I understand the concerns of the Mexican and Brazilian people and that we will work with their teams to resolve what is a source of tension,” he said.