WH: Obama not violating privacy; Snowden’s whereabouts unknown
(CNN) — President Barack Obama does not feel that he has violated the privacy of any American, his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, confirmed Sunday.
Asked directly if Obama feels that way regarding the government’s controversial surveillance programs, McDonough said simply, “He does not.”
During his interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” McDonough added the president plans to “talk about this in the days ahead.”
McDonough said the president will discuss the need to “find the right balance, especially in this new situation where we find ourselves with all of us reliant on Internet, on e-mail, on texting.”
Shortly after the National Security Agency programs were leaked earlier this month, Obama publicly defended the operations that involve storing phone records and collecting information from Internet companies. Obama called them “modest encroachments on privacy” that help prevent terrorist attacks.
McDonough declined to wade into the debate over whether Edward Snowden–the former contractor who leaked the NSA information–is a hero or a traitor. But the White House chief of staff confirmed that he does not know where Snowden went after he checked out of his Hong Kong hotel on Monday.
“I’m sure you’ll understand when I tell you I don’t want to get involved in any ongoing investigation or any kind of effort that’s being undertaken, but I can tell you that I don’t know where he is right now.”
CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.