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. Wait! What?

    Ok so in his Q&A session he talks about Greece not having a debt problem, but a spending problem, and spending more than is being brought in. Does he really not see that his policies are doing the same thing? The other thing is 4.3 million jobs have been created is correct, BUT how many more people have given up looking for work? How many no longer qualify to receive unemployment? Our unemployement is much higher than 8.2% considering the workforce participation rate is lower than it was 30 years ago.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. jimcolyer

    Obama is on his way out.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. dcl

    Your those blaming Obama solely for the jobs problem you better take a look at congress. You've got idiots running both houses.

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

      Did he not have a Democratic controlled House & Senate his 1st two years in office? Whose fault was it then?

      June 8, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • NJ Jints

      So it's Bush's fault in 2007-2008, when the Democrats were controlling both sides of Congress. It still was Bush's fault in 2009-2010 when the Presidency and Congress were held by the Democrats. Now it is 2011-2012 and it is the House's fault, but not the Senate Democrat's or the President's fault. Please revise your thought process and stop drinking the Obama Kool-Aid

      June 8, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. The Worst Is Yet To Come

    Whether Obama or Romney wins in November you will see us decline even more so than at present: Congress just does not listen! Blame Obama all you want Congress did nothing for jobs or the economy all you will get with Romney is more Crony Capitalism and Workers wages to go down even more so. The GOP is for Corporations and Corporations are about Profit not wages of its workers or benefits. Teachers and Unions have been under attack by the GOP. These groups represent People who need fair wages. Doctors get paid whether their patients live or die. Teachers are held to standards based on performance when the student may not be capable of performing. What it boils down to is everyone is into everyone elses business when they have no clue to what it takes to do perform a job. Then someone comes and adds more workload on the backs of workers. How long do tou think this is going to be stood for? Something is going to break! Just like Europe and their economic situation it will boil over to our economy. Congress is out of sync, out of touch, and out of order: Fire Congress! I am voting for Obama. All of our problems point back to Congress! Even Reagan had issues with Congress.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Reid Must Go!

      There are 30 bills sitting on Harry Reid's desk that the Republican House has passed that would create jobs. He refuses to put them up for a vote. The buck stops with Harry Reid for failing to do anything. He can't even pass a budget in 3.5 years.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • swodog6289

      Congress' direction is driven by the Bully Pulpit that the President has. His party was in charge and you may claim it's not Obama's fault but he drove the direction of his party and therefore congress. It's Obama's and Democrats economy now.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • real talk

      Congress is 90 percent of the present problem. If you are referring to bills such as the Paul Ryan budget don't blame Harry Reid even the Republicans in the senate don't like it.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • bobto

      Worst – you really need to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Maybe then you'll begin to understand that it is those "evil profiteers" whom you eagerly condemn who enable jobs and growth in the first place. Chase them away and see how quickly our economy (and society) regresses.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Thank you for the dose of reality!

      June 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jobdespair

    Wasn't Bush in power between 2004-2008, including 2007 when the economy problems started. Lack of logic really is inherent in you, isn't it?

    June 8, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      Will you PLEASE make up your mind.... is it the PRESIDENT or CONGRESS' responsibility for the spending and the real decisions regarding the Economy!

      It was Bush's FAULT... but with a Democrat controlled Congress so would it be Obama's fault with a split Congress? How about Clinton's successes with a Republican Congress?

      I am just trying to determine which revision of Civics class that you are using....

      June 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. garygramscom

    Obama to voters: Watch me tell congress to do something with authority, And none of this 93-0 like that budget I sent over, somebody has to vote for me...."get my czar of leaks on the phone, the public will believe me then"....

    June 8, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. FubarObama

    Helllo..is someone talking out there ?? Oh its you.. the POTUS..this guy is so out of here his words mean nothing. He can not get kicked to the curb quick enough. He will go down as an absolute disaster.

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

    We know exactly how he runs his office, vacations for the wife and fund raisers for him. This all on the backs of tax payers. New "Hope & Change" is I sure HOPE in November he has CHANGE of address

    June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. food for thought

    What obama policies haven't worked? Congress haven't passed any for jobs, for debt control and or to help recovery. America don't be stupid and believe lies. Obama has tried, but congress (even some Dems) haven't done their job. Congress should lose their jobs in Nov. Congress should be made up of doctors(healthcare), lawyers, educators(education reform) and everyday workers(fair work laws and wages), those are the people who know best what the rest of the country needs. Crime is up throughout the country (not just major cities), small towns have more empty businesses than open ones and education in public schools is terrible. This is not on the president! and for all that think it is, need to take a 9th grade civics class!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • lovetheusaorleave

      His first two years as president he had a Democratic controlled House & Senate and still could get nothing done!! That speaks volumes.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. FLIndpendent

    Did any of you haters even listen to the press conference? This President has been pushing for a jobs bill for over 2 years and it is Congress that won't budge. Apparently, you people really do expect him to be a dictator and sign jobs legislation without Congress...he is only one man and the head of 1/3 of our gov't. It was Boehner and the Repub/Tea Partiers that ran on jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010 and what have they done? And, don't say they've sent jobs bills to the Senate and Reid is the blockade because every one of their so-called "jobs" bills had a Repub wish list item attached to it that they knew would not pass a Dem Congress so it is all games with them to make this President fail. They do NOT care about us and anyone that votes for these treasonous obstructionists should have their heads examined.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • dscon

      just what is the prez's jobs bill?
      where can i see/read this "jobs" bill?
      we've heard this from him before........."if congress would just pass "my" bill"
      but we never see one.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mockingbird

      Please identify the GOP items in the bills that you say will not pass.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      The items that won't pass are the Ryan Budget, nonsense anti-abortion amendments, Keystone Pipeline (not until all studies are completed as to new location), defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. Do not try to tell us that the Repubs have put forth any clean jobs bills...they've all had something attached to them that didn't have to do with creating jobs.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lolol

    democrats, republicans, same gang of thugs working for the global elite agenda.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. RAMBLE

    Look I'm running for office. So, you're to blame not me. So, pass this useless plan for which we came up with a great marketing name, America's Jobs Act. The name implies it's fab, but it's a zero. But I'm running. So, I blame you for talking in circles.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. wyatt

    Obama will urge Congress to pass proposals "to put construction worker (Unions) back to work upgrading our roads and bridges, teachers (Unions) back in the classroom educating our kids and police (Unions) and firefighters (Unions) back on the job keeping our communities safe," according to the White House.

    I wonder what all these groups have in common?

    June 8, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • lionhart

      What do you have against unions? A job is a job no matter if it is public sector, private sector or union. JOBS build the economy. This union bashing is just more class warfare!!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • food for thought

      It's a job, a career and needed. I like coming home from work, to my nicely built home(contractors) with all my stuff still in place(police) and helping my kids with thier homework(teachers).

      June 8, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Thomas Henley

    He said, she said, they did, they won't, blah, blah, blah...you either get a job done or you don't. I don't go around promising I can do and accomplish a job I can't, and don't, and then blame my failure on others.

    Obama asked for the job, and asked for it based on promises of performance he hasn't lived up to.

    I could care less whether he's black or white, republican or democrat...whether he's a nice guy or a jerk, whether he means well or doesn't or how difficult the job is he asked for and is getting paid to do.

    You either get results or you don't.

    As soon as Americans stop making and accepting excuses for failure, the sooner we will all stop suffering the consequences of it.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |

    I was listening to this on the radio and seriously thought it was a replay from 2009... He said the exact same things then and nothing has been accomplished...

    June 8, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • lionhart

      You can thank congress for that. They have an approval rating in the single digits for a reason.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      And he's going to keep saying it until Congress decides it's no longer worth trying to keep this President down. At least you've acknowledged that his policies haven't gotten through.

      June 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
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