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. mina

    How sad is it that there is not a good choice to vote for President in November, you have two candidates, Worse &
    Even Worse.

    June 8, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rocky

    So NOW, after 3 years, we should have a jobs program. I voted for this guy, but wont do again. I tell you a jobs program-the friggin' PIPELINE!

    June 8, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    Just as the t-publicans voted into power in 2010 have concentrated solely on taking away health care from lower income women, have worked feverishly to outlaw abortion (wealthy women will continue to have safe abortions, they're called a D&C) and attacked gay rights, expect EXACTLY the same if they win the White House and the Senate. I can see how reducing everyone's income tax rate by 20%, what romney is promising if elected, may create some jobs as people will foolishly spend it on junk rather than save it. Unfortunately, many of those jobs will not be in the U.S. but U.S. companies will profit from their international factory locations. So the romney will say he created jobs. What he won't acknowledge, however, will be the effect on the nation's deficit. Tax cuts of that magnitude will create a huge hole in the budget. Where will he get the added dollars he wants to give to the military. Where will he get the funds for the wars he'll want us to start? Where will he get the funs for anything? You guessed it, the middle and lower classes. The deficit will mushroom at a greater rate. Count on it. We're headed for a financial awakening when we can't borrow any more money from anyone. The conservatives believe that those they starve and cause misery to will not revolt. They may find that they're wrong about that just like they're wrong about most things. If you're smart, you'll save as much money as you can because I don't see a path for our economy to improve anytime soon. We're part of the global economy and the rest of the world isn't doing so well.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • dav

      obama = communism,he and polosi will do your thinking

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

      Can you produce any facts with that left wing diatribe? Which Congressman said, or produced a written bill for a vote to cut WOMENS health care? Stop the msnbc talking points, you're making a fool of yourself.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • a1933karr

      Well final read some thing that seems to knnow what is going on. Keep it up Rick. U are so right.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. dav

    obama out trying to buy more votes ,just remember all his previous compain lies.Obama = your children will be on welfare,bye obma 2012

    June 8, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      and you think Romney would do better? NO the republicans got us into this mess, I doubt their policies have changed and will again take up where they left off.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      His goose is cooked. All signs right now are not favorable for his re-election. And he knows it, you can see it in his face, and Axelrod knows it.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. TwM

    Keep pushing the same program that has had minimal to no success? Waste of our time. If you want to fix the economy, fix the debt problem, work on the tax structure.

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

      Does that mean the Republicans are going to work with him? I doubt it and I doubt they will do anything other than continue you their agenda when Bush was in office. If not, then what EXACTLY have they said they would do different than what Obama has done. Stripping the American people of their rights does not balance the budget!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rippa

    That's all the talk is about EUROPE! We have our own crises here! That's our PROBLEM we're always concerned about someone else! TOTALLY WRONG!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rippa

    Extend the Unemployment benefits- a lot of people going off of Unemployment- we haven't seen anything yet!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. DrFred

    Nice presser by Obama.. 10 minutes of complete BS followed by cherry picking a couple reporters to ask questions that are pre-known to be supportive of him and his left wing policies. You libs must be real proud.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. john

    There are at least 30 bills passed by the congress that Harry Reid has sitting in the senate that he will not bring to the floor for a vote. The do nothing senate and the President is blocking legislative progress to get the economy going.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • a1933karr

      do U really believe what U just wrote. Why would they do that when they fight so hard to get thing right that Bush and is bunch lied to us about everything. Got us into these two wars killing some many young man for nothing wake up America I really like what Obama has tried to do for us.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. David Doney

    We have a $650 billion goods trade deficit, with CEO's free to offshore workers without penalty. We should be taxing the wage differential when companies offshore to bring the jobs home, eliminating the incentive to offshore created by the wage differential.

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

      You can blame unions for that.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. pprty

    RIGHT ON!! President Obama.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steve


    June 8, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. lolol

    there shouldn't be much time left until the interests on the debt can no longer be paid.......

    June 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bill


    June 8, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. TruthSeamstress

    This guy (obama) talking about how to fix an economy is like the late kim jong il talking about how to make a free capitalistic country.

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