Obama: We're investigating classified-info leaks
June 8th, 2012
09:40 AM ET

Obama: We're investigating classified-info leaks

[Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET]  The United States will conduct "thorough investigations" into leaks of classfied information, President Barack Obama said Friday in his first public comments on the controversy since several members of Congress called for an independent counsel to investigate.

"The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive," Obama said. "It's wrong, and people ... need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how people (around me) approach this office."

The controversy involves, among other things, last week's report in The New York Times that provided classified details of what it described as a U.S cyberattack targeting Iran's nuclear centrifuge program.

Some Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, alleged that the White House must be knowingly involved because of the nature of the leaked information. The White House rejects the accusations. The FBI and the U.S. attorney in Washington are investigating, federal lawmakers have told reporters.

Obama's comments in the White House press briefing room came after he made a statement on the economy, in which he called on Congress to pass all parts of his 2011 jobs plan to counter European economic troubles, which he says threatens a U.S. economic recovery (see below).

[Updated at 10:56 a.m. ET]  President Barack Obama said Congress should adopt all parts of his jobs plan - which he introduced last year - to help counter economic "headwinds" from Europe that he says is holding back a U.S. economic recovery.

He said he appreciated the fact that Congress passed on part of his plan - a payroll tax cut extension. But he called for the passage of the other parts, including bills that would help people refinance their mortgages and give businesses tax breaks for hiring more workers.

Obama’s remarks come a week after a jobs report showed U.S. unemployment in May rose from 8.1% to 8.2%, and that only 69,000 jobs were added last month - the weakest growth in a year.

[Updated at 10:52 a.m. ET] The threat of further economic turmoil in Europe threatens the U.S. economy, President Barack Obama said Friday in urging European leaders to enact plans to stabilize their economies.

Obama said the good news is that European leaders know that "there is a path out of this challenge," including taking actions that would promote economic growth and job creation. He also urged Greece, which is facing a debt crisis, to remain in the euro zone.

Investors around the world have been concerned about Europe's financial difficulties, including fears that Spain, which is in recession, will need to be bailed out by other European nations, and uncertainties about whether Greece will be forced to drop the euro, according to CNNMoney. On Thursday, credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Spain's sovereign debt rating.

The decisions that are required to turn around Europe's finances "are tough, but Europe has the capacity to make them, and they have America’s support," Obama said.

If Europe as a whole goes into recession, that means fewer goods and services that the United States can sell to Europe, Obama said.

"And that is going to have some impact on our recovery," Obama said.

[Updated at 10:37 a.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a statement about the economy Friday morning, the White House has said.

The president will talk about "the situation in Europe, which continues to pose headwinds to our recovery here at home," the White House said in a statement. The White House said he would begin speaking at about 10:15 a.m., but reporters still were waiting for him in the White House press briefing room at 10:35 a.m.

Obama will urge Congress to pass proposals "to put construction workers back to work upgrading our roads and bridges, teachers back in the classroom educating our kids and police and firefighters back on the job keeping our communities safe," according to the White House.

Obama’s remarks come a week after a jobs report showed U.S. unemployment in May rose from 8.1% to 8.2%, and that only 69,000 jobs were added last month - the weakest growth in a year.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Politics
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. Marty

    Please no more Obama!

    June 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Chuk

    There goes McCain again. He makes these accusations without PROOF! This is a guy who is living in lala land: he wants the US to get involved in every conflict around the world from Libya to Syria (not North Korea – he knows they have nuclear). This man has never seen a war he doesn't want the US to fight, regardless of the cost. Money and lives are no object until it comes to helping the poor. I think it's time to strap him on an F-16 and send him on the way to do the fighting. Maybe he thinks he's still in Vietnam.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. HIDE BEHIND

    What economy are people talking about, the money in their pockets or the national economy?
    Civics classes are pure BS, both houses of Congress are not in charge of the economy, and while they can determine how and where your crotches can be used and pacify your desires for thinking you actually have avoice in national decision making all you do is vote for personalitys.
    This article use a journalistic trick that throws the main feature into secondary thought by introducing an issue not even remotely connected; In this instance,"STATE SECURITY", into what the public is most comfortable andconcerned about!" THEIR OWN POCETBOOKS".
    This of course turns into a partisan debate,donny brook, by those who are myopic single issue dominate.
    Under State Security Secrets you do not begin to know what true economy is; and your congress does not either, for if they try to bring it to issue they are long gone.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bill

    Congress hated Obama from day 1 and making it a point to do what they can to make him 1 term president. Mist Americans believe what they read and here without looking for the real facts. Obama wa never given a chance to get all his bills passed. People make up lies to say its bad but they have no legit proof it won't work.

    June 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. FLIndpendent

    I would love any of you Obama haters that may have voted for him in '08 to tell us what exactly you expected from this man. He was elected because we felt he was better suited to stop the economic collapse than McCain (remember the "fundamentals of the economy are strong"). He did what we needed him to do and that stop us from going into a Depression. He's ended the Iraq war, killed Bin Laden and many other terrorists and has them on the run, is ending the Afghan war, lifted Don't Ask Don't Tell, passed the AHCA (which will be upheld by the SC if they have any sense), etc. Of course he's hasn't fulfilled all of his promises as no president does but since this one is a dark skinned Dem the standards are set so much higher. Get over yourselves people – this man sees our future and that is what we need.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jim

    It was no one in the government it was nobody and nothing it was anonymous.... we are anonymous we are legion we do not forgive we do not forget expect us

    June 25, 2012 at 4:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
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