Obama was ‘unaware’ of Merkel surveillance, US Govt. declares
NSA said it in a statement that the president was not informed about the surveillance program
Washington: The US has dismissed reports that President Barack Obama was informed about the tapping of Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, even as an American daily today said that spying of as many as 35 world leaders, including the German Chancellor, ended when it was brought to his notice.
The National Security Agency has refuted that it ever discussed such spying programs, in particular those of Merkel, with Obama.
“NSA Director Gen Keith Alexander did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel. News reports claiming otherwise are not true,” NSA spokesperson Vanee’ Vines, said in a statement.
The denial came after a report by Bild am Sonntag newspaper said that Obama was informed about the NSA’s tapping of Merkel’s mobile phone already in 2010 by its director.
The President “not only did not stop the operation, but he also ordered it to continue,” a high-ranking NSA official was quoted as saying by the paper. A media report also said that the Merkel’s surveillance may have begun as early as 2002.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal today reported that Obama was unaware that his own NSA monitored the cell phone communication of as many as 35 world leaders including those of France and Germany. The spying program ended this summer when it was first brought to his notice.