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. Cheryl Jefferies

    What can he say? He's not going to said: I'm incompetent, I'm Marxist and you're you-know-what because you voted for me?

    June 8, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • MattB

      Why do you hate America so much Cheryl?

      June 8, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • sickofdebt

      If Barack Obama wins re-election, the national debt will stand at $22 trillion when he leaves office in Jan. 2017.

      $11 trillion of debt built up from George Washington to George Bush.
      $11 trillion of debt built up by a single President – Obama.

      Not bad for one administration. You would think with that debt we would at least get medicare reform, tax reform, social security reform and immigration reform. Yet the President has no plan for any of those.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian in DC

      Hopefully he'll say, "I no I know nothing about economics, nor do my advisers, so I hereby tender my resignation"

      June 8, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • lefty avenger

      Obama could say that the Republicans are right wing fascist corporate oligarchy who only care about the top 1% aristocratic bankers?

      June 8, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Are you incapable of truth, sickofdebt?

      June 8, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cheryl Jefferies

    Obama is the one that hates America, Matt. I don't. Why don't you ask HIM that question?

    June 8, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I fail to see how Cheryl's comments about Obama's ideology has anything to do with "hating America".

      June 8, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Why don't you enlighten all of us Cheryl on what this President has done that makes you say such a stupid thing. This President is only one man and is not a dictator. He can only do so much to help the economy but if Congress doesn't want to pass any legislation then his hands are tied.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. anti-brainwashing

    Another campaign speech...thats all.....

    June 8, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cheryl Jefferies

    Europe is nearly as bad for our economy as Obama is.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  5. E

    That's right blame Europe for you failure.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cheryl Jefferies

    Sorry, meant: Europe ISN'T nearly as bad for our economy as OBAMA IS!

    June 8, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bravo3620

    If this is the content of his talk – I'm already asleep..... Nothing new or creative, what you'd expect of a bureaucrat.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. dubrats

    At this point stimuli doesn't impress people. The youth – college graduates are disillusioned about the American dream of profession home and family; the over 30 crowd is unemployed with benefits that have run out and now the under 30 are taking their jobs; the 40 – 60 year olds have lost their homes autos, jobs, and businesses an forced to take on early retirement with an overload of debt and living on reduced pensions that state and cities have reduced and taken away colas. How do you recover? You don't. The banks recover, BIG BUSINESS recovers, the government and the wealthy recover. It's the middle class that abided by what America asked them to do to be good citizens to have a good life and have the American dream. The youth have seen their parents' lives destroyed with this economy. Bernanke nor Obama can do anything to right this. It's been too little too late...and yes, multi generational groups are bitter. We have all suffered within the middle class most of all

    someone posted this earlier.....and wow it is sooooooo true....sadly.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. nilla

    The article left out, "and tomorrow, conservatives will still be asking why he 'refuses to talk about the economy'".

    June 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Rosie

      Sorry Nilla, the time for "talk" is over. That's all BO does. It is time to "do" something.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      @Rosie – just what is it you expect him to do. He is not a dictator as many of you would seem to like, nor can he wave a magic wand and create jobs for all. Get real people – the Repub House refuses to help him and won't put forth any clean jobs bills that would be passed.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Wazzup

    Great. Now he'll blame Europe. Is anybody's fault, but his.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. chris

    Talk talk talk..watch the stock market drop once he opens his mouth.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rosie

    "I screwed it up, and did not keep my 2008 promise to your folks. I hereby quit" Just say this BO, cause its true.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. midogs2

    Cheryl doesn't understand worldwide economic dynamics. Do you remember the sub prime mortgage decacle 4 years ago?

    June 8, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • lefty avenger

      Republicans only remember how awesome their Bush was.......

      June 8, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      It's not just Cheryl but all the Obama haters...they just refuse to recognize how our decline started and that it will take many years to get back to prosperity (if ever) and it won't matter who is President.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. mkat2

    Figures can lie & liars can figure! Turn on your TV folks, for the next session of lies, manipulations, & campaign speeches!

    June 8, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry

    Mr. Obama, stop politicking for a few minutes, hanging around with the Hollywood "happy dreamers", start respecting the majority opinions, and concentrate on doing the job that you were hired to do. Also, stop your idiotic blame game and "man up." Divisiveness should not be your ONLY option.

    That is, if you REALLY want to get reelected!!! We American are NOT as stupid as you and your flunkies make us out to be. At this stage you are NOT the inexperienced senator any longer; now you do have a track record and from where I am standing, your track record is not very encouraging...

    June 8, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
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