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. dubrats

    At this point stimuli doesn't impress people. The youth – college graduates are disillusioned about the American dream of profession home and family; the over 30 crowd is unemployed with benefits that have run out and now the under 30 are taking their jobs; the 40 – 60 year olds have lost their homes autos, jobs, and businesses an forced to take on early retirement with an overload of debt and living on reduced pensions that state and cities have reduced and taken away colas. How do you recover? You don't. The banks recover, BIG BUSINESS recovers, the government and the wealthy recover. It's the middle class that abided by what America asked them to do to be good citizens to have a good life and have the American dream. The youth have seen their parents' lives destroyed with this economy. Bernanke nor Obama can do anything to right this. It's been too little too late...and yes, multi generational groups are bitter. We have all suffered within..... the middle class most of all....
    someone posted this earlier.....and wow it is sooooooo true....sadly.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. proud independent

    The presidential election results in November will be of little consequence unless we elect a functioning Congress. Right now we have way too many out on the wings and too few in the center to get anything constructive done.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. mike

    The anti Obama remarks have increased two-fold since Fox blocked their comment section...

    June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jakey

      "The anti Obama remarks have increased two-fold since Fox blocked their comment section..."

      LOL, they sure have.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. tonyl

    Private sector is growing due to some demand. Corporations are making huge profits. The private sector jobs are being created but at low rate. Small businesses are still hurting. It is clear that in order to create more demand to further grow this economy, we have to help the states and local governments in a short term for them to rehire and not layoff workers for essential services. But of course we all know GOP wants this economy to fail until the election so they can have a political advantage. So they would rather obstruct, delay or derail any effort by Obama or anyone trying to avoid another recession. Americans need to take note of this fact and push the GOP to work to save our economy in this dangerous time of volatility. This is a critical time to act now. Job growth can only happen if there is demand and in order to create demand, people need money in their hands. If local governments and states rehire the essential service workers the demand grows.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ron

    Self-serving Republicans in Congress will not do anything to help President Obama, even if it’s to the detriment of the American people. All they care about is getting into and staying in power. I voted for three Republican presidents, but I wouldn’t vote for another Republican if they were the only ones running. It's not the party it used to be. It has been hijacked by the extreme right.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim McDonald

      It was obama & reid that blocked 'Cut, Cap & Balance' from comming up for a vote in the Senate last summer; where it would have passed. Also, I doubt anyone thinks you ever voted Republician...

      June 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Marty

    Congress to obama.....come up with a plan that doesn't suck!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |


      Only THIS IS A AGREAT PLAN.......that's why your dear obstructionist RETHUGS will say NO AGAIN


      June 8, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • sensible

      ....and by not sucking you mean one that does include more tax breaks for the wealthy! The repubs think that, if the rich get more and more wealthy, they will explode and shower money all over the poor!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gimmeabreak!

    These days Obama constantly has that deer-in-the-headlight look. I think he's losing it (whatever little he had to start with) . . . and I sure hope we lose him in November . . . and I wish him a happy and fulfilled retirement . . . he has certainly earned it.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ricardo

    This is a very important year in the history of the United States of America. In this current election year, we are seeing the views and ignorance of the 20th century attempting to keep hold of our government and continue with tax cuts, excessive defense spending, little or no assistance to the American people in regards to jobs, economic improvement and petty bickering between political parties who do nothing to place our country back on track. Ignorance and ignorant people who have little to no understanding of our government blame President Obama for the problems we are incurring now. President Obama is one branch of the Federal government, the Executive branch. He answers to the one branch who is the overall cause of all our country's problems, the Legislative branch (Congress). Congress has lost sight of the fact that they are public servants and are sent to Washington to do what the American people want. Not to mention Congressmen and Congresswomen have somehow believed that they can make their position a career. Our Founding Fathers were citizen legislators, which means they represented the American people and maintained their own jobs. When their term was up, they went home and returned to their jobs. That is what we need to remind our Congress of. They serve us, not vice-versa. This polarization has literally destroyed any chances of progress and economic recovery. Also, the president is not a communist or a socialist. I agree, that every American has the right to question the government. It is also our duty to do so. I disagree with all the blame being directed at President Obama. I blame John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Mitch McConnell. They are the problem and I believe it is time for the American people to clean house in Washington. Also, the word Moderate is not negative. A moderate sits down with both sides and finds a solution that benefits everyone. We need more of those in DC. Radicals, like the Tea Party and Blue Dog Democrats do nothing to help progress in our country and only feed on the ignorance of the people they represent. If you want to have a voice in Washington, it is time for new blood and younger people to exercise their right to vote and make their case. The more they refuse to speak up, the more that older generations, who are now voting, will continue to dictate what is and is not right in the United States. Change will occur in this country and you can either accept it or remain in the past. This is the 21st century and the views of the 20th century no longer have merit.

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Well said! President Obama is what we needed to bring this country into the 21st Century but there are must too many forces working against him. Remember people – it was "Yes WE Can", not "Yes I Can" and this president needs our continued support. We are failing him, he hasn't failed us.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • food for thought

      I see I'm not the only one who was paying attention in that Civics class. I just hope enough people were paying attention to send this nation FORWARD! Ignorance is contagious

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

      First and most importantly, the only people that should be helped is the elderly, disabled and children, everyone else should help themselves. You and your liberal comrades always ask for help, well I can see 60% of the help you've been getting drying up to a trickle come about next March so you better learn and teach your comrades in survival. Or take to the park benches and become food for the zombies. If forced you will choose survival, I can see how liberals hate to be responsible for anything, they always want someone to blame for the condition of the world. Well come Romney time you will have NO MORE excuses it'll be live or die just the way you guys like it since you've given up God and Religion. So either start living or get to dieing.

      June 8, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • GC

      Agreed. The shots at Obama or Romney are getting really old. Perhaps it's the system and the culture of Washington that's the real problem. Another view: It doesn't matter who is in power unless the culture of Washingtion changes. You can;t run a government effectively if it is hostage to Wall Street and Big business i.e, big oil. The corruption the political system invites is not trivial and has contributed significantly to our shaky economy. It's a money grab baby – if your an politician on the hill. Also this is global economy folks – and current wisdom tells us if you can fix Europe that will help bolster our economy and if not our ecomony certainly our confidence. The point of this is that it is beyond what one man can do – republican or democrat.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    His statement on the economy!...........HEEEELLLLLPPP!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Anna

    "my White House"

    "my jobs bill"

    With this puppet everythingis always my my my my, it is America's White House, you were hired o do a job and it is YOUR people woking there that are leaking, Barry doesn't play well wih others and has no leadership capabilities, this country is screwed until he is out

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Yet to denigrate the man you'll see HIS White House and HIS jobs bill – get a grip!!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      Yet to denigrate the man you'll say "HIS White House" and "HIS jobs bill" – get a grip!!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. truthfulster

    Republicans in both houses of congress need to block ANYTHING Obuma and his band of cut throats plan on doing until next January 20 when he finally goes back to Chicago where he belongs. Containing them shouldn't screw up our economy anymore then he has already. Just let him sit in the White House and contemplate how Michelle doesn't go down all the way?

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      So putting construction workers and teachers back to work is somehow a nefarious plan for America??

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


    You haven't seen garbage until you really delve into what Mittens and the Richies are promising.....oh, yes, you must be one of them since you are "sending plenty" to Romney this year! How sad for America!

    June 8, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cryos

    Republicans have tried passing a ton of jobs bills but Reid won't vote on them in the Senate.

    Obama getting things done is about compromise boo hoo that you can't get your way all the time. Grow up and do something productive instead of whining and campaigning.

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

      Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

      June 8, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |


      Try your propaganda somewhere else (like Faux)

      June 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • FLIndpendent

      What a joke to tell the President it's about compromise. When he tried to compromise with the do-nothing Congress he was called weak. Now that he's trying to move things along by himself, he suddently needs to compromise. You people don't know which way to turn in your criticisms – PATHETIC!

      June 8, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby

    Obama is setting up his new primary excuse about why his administration has failed at creating an acceptable number of jobs. Blame Europe. He wants government funded jobs and government funded projects. The private sector will bring the economy back, not the government. As long as Obama remains anti-success and anti-business, he will get what he gets.....mostly nothing.

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

      So now it's "he hasn't created an ACCEPTABLE number of jobs" – what is acceptable? In my book as long as the numbers are in the postiive column and not losing 750,000/month we're heading in the right direction.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    Wow, he actually said this!

    "The private sector is doing fine." UNBELIEVABLE!

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