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. Thomas Henley

    I think it's time for Americans to stop blaming government failures on individual parties as we don't have two governments, just one.

    People either get the job done or they don't, you don't get props at McDonald's for burning the hamburgers because someone else left the grill on too high!

    We've become a nation of people who make excuses, and shift responsibility on to the other or next guy.

    We need to demand a real change in how the war mongering, debt ridden, over regulatory government lives up to it's social contract with the American people.

    We need to stop making excuses for it's failures, and selectively blaming who or what we like least while everyone suffers the consequence.

    Finally anyone who imagines the displeasure so many have with the state of the union is about racism, you really need to get a clue and grow up.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Well said Thomas. Obama has had almost four years to make a difference. He has failed, as Bush did. I could care less about Democrat versus Republican. I want people in there to stop making excuses and get something done that actually helps the people of this country. We have turned into the United Coprporations of America and that is who runs us.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. mtb


    June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ali Baba

    All I can say is that George W. Bush was the greatest president we have ever had. The economic meltdown is due to Bill Clinton. If only Jeb Bush would have run. Lets hope he will be Mitt Romney's running mate.

    Romney-Bush 2012

    June 8, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • DC

      Please tell me you're joking.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Thank you for giving my laughs for the day – Bush our greatest President..hahahahahahahaha!

      June 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Max

    President Bush was always on time, but President Obama, never, he is the star political BS, President Clinton, was most of the time late, but never more than 5 minutes

    June 8, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. 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 nolimits3333!

    From: 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 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Blair

      You are so naive.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • theclubb

      Bush inherited an economy that was crashing. It came into full compliance of a recession with 911. The economy heated up again with the real estate bubble, which was caused in part by Democrat legislature that helped make loans for homes easier to obtain. The real estate bubble crashed causing a ripple effect throughout the world and it created a financial disaster.

      Obama poured money into a couple of corporate automotive giants that had big holes in their pockets. They were burning through cash at millions of dollars a day. All that the money did was sustain these companies in their ineffectiveness. A quicker and sooner bankruptcy would have sewn the holes in their pockets, so to speak, and saved the taxpayer billions of dollars. As it stands, these companies still owe the American taxpayer billions. (don't by GM or Chrysler until that money is paid back).

      June 8, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lance

    SW - Obama was there for 3+ years, did he take any money or anything away from you? He gave you a 2% raise in your pay check and bent on not taking away any of your "old age benefits". I agree, we should not vote for him. Lets vote for the other guys who put this country in a recession.

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

      we're not seeing the effects now because we're borrowing a trillion dollars a year. At one point in the near future we're going to have to pay back that credit card loan, and the payments and interest rates will be stifling.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Blair

      Obama has spent more than the Bush administration in his mere 3 years of being in office. Yet look at where we're at. If you understand the basics of Econ 101 and that our debt now exceeds GDP, you'd have to be a moron to not recognize we're headed for a Depression.


      June 8, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. mtb

    But...but...we were told that Obama was the Annoited One...that he would do great things...why...he was the democrat miracle worker. Are you saying that was all....ummm..."incorrect" (to be nice). Oh dear....

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

      mtb, we are living and suffering with a conservative induced economy. Conservatives want to cut taxes. Obama has cut taxes. Conservatives want fewer government employees. Thousands of government workers have lost their jobs (including teachers, police, etc.). Obama has caved on everything that we on the left wanted of him. Open your eyes! We're living with a Bush III approach to the economy. It's not working out too well, is it? Oh, by the way, things would be a lot worse had the U.S. auto industry not been bailed out. I know you righties think it should have just disappeared (yea, I know, romney said they should have been rescued by private investment even though there was none to be found at the time). Yes, details, details. romeny doesn't have a clue. What's he saying today because it probably wasn't what he said yesterday.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • hingie68

      Praying for a total defeat of this regime in November. I have never donated to an election campaign in my life but I am sending plenty to Romney this year. You libs were sold a bag of garbage in 2008!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • joshua

      Obama and his Democrat allies had two full years to pass anything they wanted without needing a single repulican vote. They got 2 stimulus bills, union payoffs, takeover of GM and Dodge, cash for clunkers, and the 1 trillion dollar in the hole Obama Care that we haven't even started paying for yet. Don't blame our current mess on George Bush. Those measly tax cuts are pennies compared to the 5 trillion dollar increase to the national debt that Obama has given us.

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

      I'm going to vote to reelect the 'Manchurian Candidate'...I hate capitalism, self-reliance and most of all this terrible country........

      June 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • matthew

      Another bllinded idiot!

      June 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • luque

      are you finish drinking your kool aid?

      June 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenda

      I'm not religious of any sort, but......Amen to your post! Unfortunately, they won't accept that because they're side does nothing but lie. Everything out of Romney's mouth is a lie. It's proven over and over and he does nothing to amend them. It's just "oops" with his campaign manager, no matter how many times he's asked for an apology. They don't care about truth, they just want to make our President look as bad as possible. They know how many stupid people only listen to those that have fooled them! Very sad!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      No, you weren't told that. The right wing made that up out. No Dem has said that.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Tax Hikes

      According to the democratic is was the SAVIOR.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Ah, the well known strawman offense. He is the "annointed one" and "miracle worker." So when he is not, and no one can be, he has failed. Also, he doesn't walk on water.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Only you Faux News junkies heard President Obama was these things. Those that live in the real world know he's just a man that is trying his very best to do what's right for all of us and not just the 1%. Too bad you can't see that as I can bet you're not in the 1%.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nannyok

    why hasn,t he done something about it by now?China owns America I was one who was force to take early retirement in 01under Bush AT T Lucent Tech. outscourced overseas. now iam living on very little.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Troy

    Obama is gonna say "things are pretty bad in Europe, so we need to do what they have been doing to get us out of this mess". lol

    June 8, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. SoCal Al

    Are you listening to Obama's statement?! What a whining, shift-the-blame loser! BTW, Mr. President, half the congress that you're throwing a temper tantrum over is controlled by your party!!! So, why aren't you getting things done? Perhaps it's because your ideas are misguided and bad policy and bad economics. Yep, that's it.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. mina

    All he does is talk and make speeches, he does nothing for this country. Blah,blah, blah........he has brought this country to its knees.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. ddtrey

    Please, can there be one...just one Obama supporter that can write a post about Obama's time in office and quit blaming everything on the previous administration? Every President inherits crap! Sure, Clinton balanced the budget but did so at the expense of our national defense. So much so that the rules he imposed on agencies that were supposed to be protecting us could not do their jobs effectively. Hence, airplanes taking down buildings in our own country. Bush had to clean up that mess and yes, it comes at an expense. So instead of bashing the previous administration, you need to start talking about what Obama has going policy wise. He owned Congress for 2 years and put us further in debt. America spoke loudly and almost took both houses of Congress back. I honestly do not htink Obama can run on his record...it really sucks. I want the economy to turn around but I do not think he can do it. You dems should have put Hillary in the seat.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Denali

    I'm not an Obama supporter as I think he is in way over his head and his lack of experience is very suspect. However, he can't be totally blamed for the bad economy. There are so many other factors in play here. Congress, Europe, Wall Street, the sub-prime mortgage fiasco and more. People need to get out an vote and get better people elected for Congress. People who will work together and stop the ideology and the stubbornness in Washington.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Blair

      He should be judged by his performance and his policies. Obama is a failure. He just doesn't get it.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. theclubb

    The problem with Obama's plan to put Americans to work is the workers are paid for by the government. That's infrastructure construction jobs, teachers, firefighters, and police officers. This type of employment is paid for by the American tax payer. We're extended far beyond what we can sustain anyway, borrowing 1 trillion + a year to support what we already have. So Obama wants to borrow more money, increase our deficit by more trillions a year, and pay for more government workers? It doesn't make sense. On top of that, this is essentially a type of crony 'capitalism' at its best, getting jobs for the very people who will vote for him in November – union workers.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. DrFred

    Ever notice when Obama crys about state and local government cuts and layoffs he ALWAYS says cops, teachers, firefighters are the ones losing jobs.. it is NEVER the useless, overpaid pencil pushers than inundate government at all levels. No, it's simply not dramatic to cut the fat in government and he wouldn't get support from the dumb masses to continue his insane spending if he took an honest path.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
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