Did the U.S. National Security Agency spy on the phone or email communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel?
According to government sources in Germany, there was enough speculation that Merkel herself phoned President Obama on Wednesday demanding a clarification about the accusations.
As the Guardian reports:
The White House, subsequent to Merkel’s inquiry and a phone call between the two leaders, released a statement on Wednesday, which read:
Asked by the Guardian if the US had monitored the German chancellor’s phone in the past, Caitlin Hayden, the White House’s National Security Council spokeswoman, said: “The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel. Beyond that, I’m not in a position to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity.”
The Obama White House was also made to respond to an angry rebuff from French government officials after Le Monde, citing documents leaked to journalists by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, revealed that the NSA has been spying on citizens, business networks, and possibly political figures in that country.
Already, revelations made possible by Snowden’s disclosures, have shown how the global surveillance network run by the U.S. has been used to spy on the communications of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico.
In response to those revelations, Rousseff cancelled a planned state visit to Washington last month and Mexico’s expression of outrage and demands for answers regarding the surveillance of high-level officials has only grown.
As McClatchy reported Tuesday: