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.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • Politics
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. COJO

    So what's Romney's plan to get Europe to behave and quit impacting the US economy!!! Does he actually have specific plans??

    June 8, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Square One

    Do you remember January 3, 2007?

    You may not like G.W. Bush, and will declare that the following is wrong! But this is a History lesson, so I'm sending it to all, regardless of party. And, I bet I know who won't read it – those who are afraid of the truth. But it IS history, and nothing we do can change the facts listed here!

    The day the Democrats took over was not January 20, 2009; it was actually January 3, 2007, the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the very start of the 110th Congress.

    The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

    For those who are listening to liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush's Fault", think about this:

    On January 3, 2007, the day the Democrats took control of Congress –

    The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
    The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
    The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
    George Bush's Economic policies had SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!

    Remember that day...?

    January 3rd, 2007 was the day Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.

    The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?
    Answer: BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!

    THANK YOU DEMOCRATS (especially Barney), for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% unemployment to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Fiascoes!

    (BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy). Barney blocked it and called it a "Chicken Little Philosophy" (but SURPRISE – the sky did fall!)

    And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? – OBAMA! (As a senator from Illinois)

    And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie? OBAMA and the Democrat Congress – especially BARNEY FRANK!

    So when someone tries to blame Bush... REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007... THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!"

    Bush may have been in the car, but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel while they were driving the economy into the ditch.

    Budgets are not passed in the White House. They are passed by Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 was the Democratic Party.

    Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011. Obama has now gone 1,000 days without a budget, and is still blaming it on the Republicans! In that first year, Congress had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending when Bush, somewhat belatedly, got tough on spending increases.

    For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed Lame Duck President George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.

    And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of those massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in the previous five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

    If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself and a Democratic Congress.

    In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is: "I inherited a deficit that I voted for, and then I expanded that deficit four-fold since January 20th 2009." Take that.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • lolol

      Thank you

      June 8, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      You may need a history lesson as, even though the Dems took Congress in '07, Bush had a record number of vetoes during those last two years. So, whatever the Dems may have passed, got shut down by Bush. Hard to put all the blame on the Dems now isn't it? In Obama's first two years, the Dems had a filubuster proof supermajority for only a very short time so please get your "history" right.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cryos

    Remember liberals for 8 years even when democrats had Congress it was "all Bush's fault" so I don't want to hear any of your excuses for Obama. Have a taste of your own medicine.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dizzykat

    Regarding the "leak" of classified material...didn't conservatives claim during the Valerie Plame fiasco that if someone in the white house authorizes it...that that means it's allowed?

    June 8, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Cryos

      I love spineless hypocrites. Remember your posts like this when people ignore moonbats like you.

      How is the power of the people going in Wisconsin? LOL.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Don't you know yet, a Repub President/Administration can do no wrong. It's only when we have a Dem President that every ill in the world is his fault. Just like Cheney saying deficits don't matter but since Day 1 of Obama's presidency that is all we've heard about.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. OPEN400

    It is unfair for Romney to be running around saying the "president has no jobs plan" when there is a 451 page jobs plan sitting in front of the GOP House right now. Many of the proposals for small business were originally GOP proposals. The estimated costs of the wars on terror right now stand at 1.3 trillion – all borrowed money. Where is all this Iraqi oil that we were supposed to have access to? I don’t see the price at the pump.
    If we talk about people with over a million dollars to go back to the tax rates of the 1990s to rebuild America, it is called socialism – that’s absurd. As a percentage of GDP, the president that spent the most money on infrastructure projects was Eisenhower with his interstate highway initiative. America has been engaged in large national projects all our history – the transcontinental railroad, the Panama canal, the interstate highway system and the space program all immensely benefitted America as whole. Do you expect private corporations to rebuild or rebuild the roads, bridges, schools, airports, reservoirs, dams?
    This whole thing that Fox News call every government initiative “socialism” is absurd. If Fox News wants to talk about government waste, talk about the 50 billion dollars of the defense budget we are never allowed to be disclosed “because of the nationals security reasons.” You mean as a tax payer, I cannot see how any this secret fund was spent during the Cold War?

    June 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Faux News is run by foreigners who want to take this country down and have been trying to do so since the Clinton years. They want the Corporations and Big Oil to rule the world. I was surprised to find out that Faux is banned in Canada – that explains a lot. Too bad we have so many gullible people in this country.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. projec12

    OMG, i had two bad dreams. Onr mitt romney won election and economy tanked. Women;s rights were stripped off and all companies shipped jobs overseas. It was a nightmare, hearing mitt make public speeches while citizens assembled into buildings dressed in white and black robs. World was burning and our army was at war. Our children looked up at us and asked why we betrayed them. Woke up cause it was a devastating nightmare. Went back to sleep, had another dream. This time M itt Romney had lost, jobs returned to our shores and Americans were getting happier by the day. Wish i stayed in that dream. Obama was still president. Was this a warning of whats to come?????? placing my vote to Obama for first time. I am independent

    June 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian Paul

      You are lost my friend! I am not saying Mitt Romney is the answer nor am I saying Bush or anything like him is the answer, but if you think Obama is the savior of this country you are just plain old lost. How far gone and out of tough is our voting public to think this current president is some kind of leader. Our standards are so low!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • NoBama

      Your dream is a reality nightmare come true right now under Obama. He has failed every step of the way. His own party has turned on him now with the help of the Clintons. He's done. I can't say I'm a real fan of Romney, but I know stepping in a smaller pile is better than stepping in a larger one.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Polopoint

      "Independents" are over-rated.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • cuisinemanager

      Your dream was correct but you got the dream part wrong, it is reality, Obama is in the white house, jobs are going overseas, he has mortgaged our children s future with debt, unemployment is going back up and Obama and his crowd have started a war on woman, the rich and a race war with the Trayvon Martin case.
      The funny part of your dream is that Romney is not in the White House, Romney had nothing to do with our current national situation it has all been Obama. Oh, go ahead and blame Bush, that is the standard procedure of the Obamamites!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      @Polopoint – "Independents are overrated"
      _________________________________
      As one, I beg to differ. If more people would take off their party blinders and try looking at reality maybe out country would be in better shape. It is the party labels that are klling all of us. I've voted for both Repubs & Dems and that's the way it should be as neither party has all the answers and we should judge the candidates on their merits and ideas, not just if they have an R or D beside their name.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ron

    There is going to be a jobs problem as long as American corporations continue to outsource jobs overseas. If I call Verizon or most any other company for technical assistance, I have to talk to somebody in Malaysia or India.

    By the way, I won't be dealing with Verizon much longer. So part of that problem will be solved for me.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jim McDonald

    This regime will be remembered as the most corrupt in history.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • BubbaGMan

      Go back under your rock

      June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Tax Hikes

      Food stamps up 100% and the economy is getting better. RIGHT.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne JG

      And you know this how? Cite your sources.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • luigim

      This will only become the history that is created by Focks Noose.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • tifoso

      @Jim – If you believe that this administration is the most corrupt in history, you must have flunked not only every history course but even basic reading. You have no research skills. How can you even compare these incidents with, for example, Watergate, a criminal burglary engineered from the White House and whose purpose was to subvert an election? Or how about Tea Pot Dome? Or the corruption under Grant? No need to mention G W Bush and the atrocities he encouraged.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      When they do something that even compares to starting an illegal war that killed and/or maimed thousands and did nothing but put our country under then your statement may be taken seriously. Until then, it's just more hogwash from you Obama haters.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nick Bruiser

    This will help the economy: STAY OUT OF SYRIA

    June 8, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • alf

      You are 100% right....NO SYRIA....listen to this McCain and Lieberman !!!

      June 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cryos

    Open400 I love your excuses for overspending.

    Let me guess you get a refund from the government every year so the sky is the limit on your ideals and the budget since you have to stake in the game right?

    June 8, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Marshall

      Just because you get a refund doesn't mean you don't pay taxes. are people that dumb on these sites. It just means that you paid to much. I get taxes taken out every check but I don't get all of that back. I get a portion. So most people do pay there taxes that just pay to much and they get some back.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    So we the people are supposed to believe that Obama's Justice Department, headed by our "trusted" Attorney General Eric Holder, will investigate the classified information security leaks quickly, thoroughly and without prejudice??? Please, we know better than that!!!!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • tifoso

      That is why we have had Special Prosecutors in such cases.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. South Westport

    Huh. You'd think we had a sleeper agent as President or something. Nah!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Larry L

    @Marty

    Congress to obama.....come up with a plan that doesn't suck!
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    Obama to Republicans in Congress.... stop obstructing all progress for political gain. Stop doing nothing but pushing your Tea Party agenda for dedstroying our government. Stop filibustering all initiatives – even those you approve in committee. Stop blocking every initiative that helps the working people. Stop promoting every initiative that only helps the fat cats.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  14. cuisinemanager

    It seems that speaking out is what the Obama administration is really good at, everybody but everybody knows these leaks are coming from the white house and sanctioned by the president. There is absolutely no speculation in these leaks they are quoting verbatim and even have the statistics right. Lets have more effort put into removing barriers for small businesses, streamlining the economy, putting people back to work, either extending the Bush taxs cuts or eliminating them but lets have some certainty in the economy. No more self promoting Mr. President, lets have promoting US business!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • ChrisG

      Amen to that.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. OPEN400

    Square One
    Get your fact somewhere besides Fox News. Bush's entire economic "success" was purchased with a credit card that came tumbling down in September 2008. Bush refused to regulate the bank or the stock market and we the average Americans are paying the price for his "success." If you are defending George Bush, you know nothing about responsible leadership of the economy.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Tax Hikes

      So from 2007 to 2011 the democratic congress is blameless. Typical Obama rhetoric.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
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