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. real talk

    Where was all of this anger when the contry was being led over the cliff by Bush and Cheney? I'm independent but, Romney doesn't have a clue! McCain was a better nominee then Romney will ever be!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. J

    How can people have a better sense of how he approaches the office when he treats the Presidency like he's from Hollywood.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. rla

    awe do know how his White House works-- Just like a Chicago political gang!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. lionhart

    Can you name what spending programs these were? The biggest programs that added to the debt were Republican lead not Democrat. The Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Medicare Part D.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. larry

    Nothing should be done until Obama is gone.
    Extend the Bush tax cuts. STOP SPENDING !

    June 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    It's hard to be dictator when no one is listening to you anymore isn't President.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Laura

    Obama is panicking – and he should. As Clinton pointed out he had the house and senate majority for almost two years and did not pass a budget. Instead he focused on Healthcare because he wants a legacy. Then, the crap hits the fan and he accuses congress of holdng Americans hostage. In the meantime, not one Dem in the Senate votes for the Presidents budget – not one. A social experiment on what happens when you hire someone completely unqualified to run the country. Not saying that Romney is better – but he kills Obama in experience. Obama needs to go build houses with Jummy Carter. The dems should be kicking themselves in the rear end. THey messed up royally when they did not run Hilary – and they are paying now.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin

    Maybe he should have played nice with Congress before it got to this point. Now it's time to take your toys and go back to Chicago with the other thugs.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • zzzzz

      He did compromise in 2009-11, including with blue -Dems, and got him no where ...
      That was his biggest mistake in 2009-10, playing nice , instead of whine and put a "petty face" as Clinton used to do..
      Nicely telling the blue-dems, "I love you but you better play with me".
      If it was "mafia style" politics he deployed, it would have worked well.
      Or Bonner (banner) or what ever the "cry bayby name is", he is useless too.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wwf

    Some people seem to forget, that while congress passes laws, the President can veto any law that comes to his desk. Don't go throwing this mess at the Democrats becuse they controlled both houses. Rep. spent plenty under Bush, but the right seems to forget that.All are to blame. Period. Bush, Bush, Obama and congress. Too many people on both sides of the coin drinking too much koolaid.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • lolol

      yes. He was supposed to VETO the NDAA he clearly didn't !!!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. cnnloudmouth

    Stop holding press conferences. All the U.S. government does with press conferences is authenticate the accuracy of the leaks.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jeremy

    Extraordinarily slow change you might believe in

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

      .....thanks to the repubs putting sticks in the wheels of progress!!!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. AFVet

    There is absolutely no difference between republican and democrat members of congress. Every last one of them will do whatever it takes to enrich themselves and get reelected so they can further enrich themselves. Don't believe me? Why have there been so many "waivers" to the health care legislation allowed to go through. Some of them pushed through by Nancy Pelosi who was a huge supporter of the "we must pass it to find out what is in it" bill. Republicans? How much money has Jay Bohner from Oklahoma made in the stock market using insider info that he has gotten as a member of Congress? A ton.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Infidel

    Congress to obama: STICK IT!!!! Komrade obama seems to think his plan is the one and only. Compromise? HELL NO!! With this FOOL, it is my-way-or-the-highway!!! We need to send this MARXIST back to Chicago in November, along with Big MOOOO.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. TeeDarling77

    Americans, you need to wake up!!! Can't you see that the Republicans are the ones who are killing the job creations in the USA? If President Obama has put forth the Job Act Reform to be passed by the Congress and the Republicans are the ones who refused to pass it, who is responsible for situation the country is in now? Republicans are the job killers and as long as I vote I'll never vote for any Republicans in this country. Period!!!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Square One

    Shut up already Barry. You're done.

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