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. coloradom

    Nothing he can say will make much of a difference. If things happen to be going well for you, you're probably going to support Obama. If things aren't going well, you're probably going to look elsewhere. I do think the economy is improving, although over the last two years, my salary hasn't changed and I've had to pay more into my benefits. I do have a job though, so I'm thankful and not going to complain.

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

      things are going pretty good for me so I will NOT support Obama... i want to keep my money.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      See...that's what's wrong with Obama and this country today. Everyone is "glad" just to have a job. Take more money for benefits, pay us less, just let us keep our jobs. I want people in the White House who want more for America than to just survive and get by. We have the largest economy in the world and huge natural resourses. It's time we stop settling for scraps and start sitting at the head of the table where we belong. Obama doesn't that.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Selfish IsADisease

      You THINK the economy is improving? Look:

      [1] USA underfunded liabilities are $120 Trillion
      [2] All federal revenue from both Income and SS tax is less than $2.4 T a year. [$120T / $2.4T = 50X]
      That means every tax payer would have to pay 50 years of taxes today just to get back to even.
      [3] USA has 100% debt to GDP ratio – going up by 10% per year with $1.2 Trillion deficits [immediate problem]
      [4] 60% of Public debt mayures in less than 3 years. That means...............................
      [5] Astronomical money supply growth [printing worthless paper money].That means.............................
      [6] The coming loss of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency.
      [7] The Banks and Economists are not kiddiing when they say that America is heading for the cliff [ and Obama's driving
      the bus with his foot flat on the gas pedal ]

      June 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Cheryl, do you really think Obama hates america? lol He's helped sooo many people during this horrible time. And he's done it without the help of the GOP or people like you who disapprove of everything he does. And do you really think this country needs a change in leadership right now!?!?! Everyone expects this country to just come back quick fast in a hurry when I took 10 years for it decline. If you get a quick fix, then its going to FALL AGAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 10yrs AGAIN!!!

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

      Kevin, I could not have said it better. That is the simple truth! The GOP in congress has obstructed everything! (And don't dislike the GOP) bt this is rediculas!

      June 8, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • viaquest

      exactly what has he done to help so many people? oh wait i remember now a 900,000 person per year increase in illegal border crossings , 500,000 less apprehensions of illegals per year , 18% increase in food stamp claims , 5% unemployment spike , Trillions more in debt, alienated at least 3 alied countries, 33% decrease in home values, underhandedly pushed through a health care bill over 60% of the country didn't want and the supreme court will most likely find illegal, used billions in taxpayer money to bail out companies that are destined to fail again this decade, i'm glad your happy for all the help , me not so much!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Selfish IsADisease

      You need to remove the blinkers pronto.
      Obama suggested dealing with immigration. The Republicans thought it was a good idea and offered to help – so OBAMA ditched his plans then accused the Republicans of refusing to be involved or RATHER hindering HIS efforts? Streuth! he wouldn't do anything if it meant the GOP were seen as anything but obstructive, now would it?

      The Democrats didn't pass ONE single Republican Bill from 2006 – 2010 and Harry Reid had ELEVEN more Bills on his desk since then that never saw daylight. Then , of course, the devious Dems accused the GOP of "doing nothing" In short they lied again.

      Obama's main whine throughout the past 4 years to cover up his inadequacy and lack of leadership has been "The Republicans hate me 'cos I'm black. They block everything I try to do" B.S. He knew at the outset he was out of his depth so he created a strategy to cover his tracks.
      It would have worked if the facts didn't prove otherwise! He has grossly underestimated the intelligence of the American people because his EGO is bigger than the good of his country!

      June 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. a disgrace

    unless the disgrace obama is resigning america will wait for romney to work on america's failing economy..

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

      Disgrace, do you really think Romney could have done any better? When a nation, actually when the WORLD ECONOMY, was failing it takes more than one individual to turn things around and it takes a lot longer than 3 years. The fact is Europe is still struggling but yet the United States remains on the path to recovery and our economy is growing. Give it a rest already about how Romney will step in and save the country...The fact is Romney is no different than Obama and Obama is no different than Bush and so on...The president of the United States is a figure head and 9 times out of 10 his or her decisions don't really matter in the grand scheme of things....So even if Romney wins its not going to change anything....

      June 8, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • lies from the right but mostly hate

      I guess we need another good war to keep this economy and country on the right track as in the previous whitehouse adminisration before obama. This president must be a rogue muslim, whatya think a disgrace, cause he sure is taking a lot of them out with headshots

      June 8, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Selfish IsADisease

      Bill – as Governor Romney changed a $3 billion deficit into a $2 B illion SURPLUS so yes – I think he can do better.

      Funny how when things look bad the Liberals whine about the world economy BUT when they appear to improve it's "All hail the Chief" Muppets!

      June 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lolol

    I hope Obama is going to expose the Federal Reserve's ponzi scheme...
    But since he's bought and paid for like all of the previous presidents of past 100 years, he won't

    June 8, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jonathan

    Oh...No...Can someone shut off the power to all TV and radio stations? Please....

    June 8, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. nolimits3333

    George W. Bush inherited a strong economy, a budget surplus, and a nation at peace.

    Eight years later, he left Obama with a shattered economy, a trillion dollar deficit, and two useless wars.

    Obama saved the country from another Great Depression, rebuilt GM, reformed healthcare, reformed Wall Street, doubled the stock market, created 10 straight quarters of GDP growth, created 27 straight months of private sector job growth, got Bin Laden, got Gaddafi, and got us out of Iraq.

    And now with the automatic spending cuts and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2012, Obama has solved the deficit problem as well.

    Obama has done a very good job.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • coloradom

      In all fairness to Bush, he did make a few mistakes, but the economic crisis was the responsibility of both parties. Bush was at the helm at the time, so he gets the blame. If you look at the history though, the mortgage crisis is the main contributing factor to the recent recession. Both parties came up with the brilliant idea of supporting sub-prime mortgages so that those who didn't have the ability to buy, could. Laying the blame entirely on Bush isn't correct. Congress thought this was a great idea at the time (and supported by Presidents before, such as the former Bush and Clinton).

      June 8, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Funny how you choose to leave fact out of your propaganda...er, I mean comment. Let's not mention 9/11, 2 wars, and Yet, Bush only manages to give us 4.6 trillion in debt in 8 years...Obama – 5.2 trillion deficeit in 3-1/2 (Record) years No jobs, fudged unemployment numbers...should be about 11% – He only got Bin Laden because of the policies put in place by Bush and the hard work of military and others. He has divided the nation, blamed everything on every one else. increase food stamp users to close to 49 Million (record), helath care lie, (Which will be thrown out) Thank god, ...should I go on...He is an epic fail...One and done

      June 8, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Bush is not running for re-election. Romney is by far best qualified to lead us out of this mess.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • justuandi

      I wish more people would bury their bias and just look at the facts. Thanks for posting the short, to the point facts. Love it! Cheers!

      June 8, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Tax Hikes

      I hope the republicans let the so called Bush tax cuts expire. You want to raise taxes, do it on everyone.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • real talk

      @John, the only thing fudged here are your facts and how you've tried to use them to bend the truth. Let's use your figures. You said that Bush gave us 4.6 trillion in debt? That debt came from two unfunded wars and a tax cut that was unfunded. The deficit that they created didn't stop when Obama took office. We were still at war and the tax cuts were still in place all unfunded! That red ink is still there and will be even as the war draws down as we pay out benefits for wounded veterans. When it comes to job numbers we were loosing 750,000 jobs a month when Obama took office in 27 months we've added over 4 million! Surely not enough but clearly opposite of what Obama inherited. The unemployment rate has continued to drop. Obama pushed a jobs bill rebblicans in the house blocked it. He didn't fire the bullet that killed Laden. He made the decision to go get him! Bush had a chance had him cornered in the montains and dropped the ball letting him escape with not enough boots on the ground and giving the lead to the warlords. Time magazine did a nice piece detailing how and why he got away. More people were under welfare and pblic assistance under Bush than Obama! Nolimits3333 spoke the truth. We still have a ways to go but the truth is the country is in a better economic state than it was. when Obama took office. If that is what you call an epic failure perhaps you to revisit the definition

      June 8, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • matthew

      Obama was elected because he said he could fix things. I guess he is a liar and he fooled the American people. You can do all the blaming you want but the truth remains Obama lied and he cannot fix things. Maybe McCain would have been better had the Liberal media vetted Obama and told the American people the truth that Obama has no credentials of fixing the country - with his community organizer background and "done nothing" in the Congress/Senate "only say present" actions.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    Our penchant for military solutions, the unbridled rule of MIC, the Iraq and Afghan disasters have shown the folly of our agenda. Europe's woes are surely to compound our problems.
    And yet we are itching to go to another war. Thanks again to those sitting on their fat behinds up on the Hill having no clue to the realities on the ground or the changing dynamics, emerging power centers around the world and our increasing isolation.
    Our economic and financial failures are but a reflection of what has been going on in Washington for the past decade.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Suzy D

    Four more years of this joker-than he can say "It was the previous presidents fault--oh, that's right –I was the last president!!!!!! LOL

    June 8, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • kirby

      LOL LOL LOL........I can wait till Romney supposedly becomes president. Your fickle thought process will probably be the same statements you are making now!

      June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. Max

    is this president ever be on time, and will not make a statement how bad the congress is

    June 8, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Portland tony

    For those who blame the President for the hard times ought to get a civics text book and read the section about the congressional power of the purse. No tax or expenditures occur without the authorization of Congress. So if Obama has mismanaged the economy, the Congress gave him the money to do it!

    June 8, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Max

      thats correct, but he is the one who should work with the congress and unite

      June 8, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • joshua

      congress hasn't passed a budget in 3 years thanks to Harry Reid. The credit card statement belongs to Obama.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Gene

    So, President Obama wants to make another political statement. When will he start to propose realistic solutions?

    June 8, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      When he out of office and back home answering to Michelle.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    What a surprise – construction and school money for his union voters. He's a pork-barrel prez from Chicago. Didn't he get the message this week thta voters want action to control spending?

    June 8, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • O.T.

      Exactly right. But Obama will never get it. His entire purpose is to aggrandize power in the hands of the political class.

      June 8, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      So, which is it that you want, President Obama to create jobs (which involves spending) or to reduce spending? Everyone knows it takes money to make money and investing in a jobs bill (which would be paid for) is what he's trying to accomplish but Congress won't help him on this as they know it's what is needed to create jobs and improve the economy and they can't allow that in the election year.

      June 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. O.T.

    Bill Clinton violated one of the central tenets of liberalism: he complimented a businessperson. Boy, you could tell David Axelrod took him to the woodshed too.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    ".....it's not my fault blah blah, I inherited it from Bush blah blah, Republicans are holding me back blah blah, hope and change blah blah...."

    June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. lolol

    haha Europe Blame already !!!!

    June 8, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
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