NEW: Review under way of how intelligence operates outside of the country, Obama says
Feinstein says Washington stops surveillance of allies, administration says not totally accurate
Sources differ on when the White House learned of foreign leader phone taps
White House learned of foreign leader phone taps only this summer
President Barack Obama didn’t know the United States was collecting communications of allied leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on Monday.
Moreover, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said in a statement that her panel was unaware of the sweeping intelligence effort and said that the White House had told her that such data collection “will not continue.”
Feinstein’s overall comments confirmed recent news reports on the National Security Agency electronic surveillance network revealed in classified leaks by former agency Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Separately, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said late Monday that he was authorizing the release of more details about the government’s collection of telephone records under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in an effort to show the extent the spying program was overseen by a secret federal court and Congress.