The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

November 4, 2013

White House, lawmakers: no clemency for Snowden

(Continued)

Rogers implied that he didn't believe the president, or European leaders who claimed they were shocked by Snowden's allegations.

"I think there's going to be some best actor awards coming out of the White House this year and best supporting actor awards coming out of the European Union," he said "Some notion that ... some people just didn't have an understanding about how we collect information to protect the United States to me is wrong."

Feinstein said she didn't know what the president knew, but said she intended to conduct a review of all intelligence programs to see if they were going too far.

"Where allies are close, tapping private phones of theirs ... has much more political liability than probably intelligence viability," she said.

Feinstein and Rogers been criticized for defending the NSA. Feinstein's committee produced a bill last week that she says increases congressional oversight and limits some NSA powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Privacy advocates say the measure codifies the agency's rights to scoop up millions of American's telephone records.

Former NSA and CIA director Mike Hayden said it was possible Obama did not know about the alleged Merkel phone tapping.

But he said it was "impossible" that Obama's top staffers were unaware. "The fact that they didn't rush in to tell the president this was going on points out what I think is a fundamental fact: This wasn't exceptional. This is what we were expected to do."

Hayden's defense of the president comes days after he reportedly criticized the White House's handling of NSA revelations, when a former Democratic political operative tweeted snatches of Hayden's phone conversation, overheard on an Amtrak train.

Pfeiffer appeared on ABC's "This Week," while Rogers, Feinstein and Hayden were interviewed on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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