WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with a flood of revelations about U.S. spying practices, the White House is considering ending eavesdropping on friendly foreign leaders, a senior administration official said.
A final decision has not been made, the official said. The administration is trying to tamp down damage from the months-long spying scandal — including the most recent disclosure that the National Security Agency monitored the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
President Barack Obama said the U.S. government is conducting "a complete review of how our intelligence operates outside the country." Interviewed on the new television network Fusion on Monday, Obama declined to say when he learned about the spying operations.
"What we've seen over the last several years is their capacities continue to develop and expand, and that's why I'm initiating now a review to make sure that what they're able to do doesn't necessarily mean what they should be doing," Obama said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for a "total review of all intelligence programs" following the Merkel allegations. In a statement Monday, the California Democrat said the White House had informed her that "collection on our allies will not continue."
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