President Barack Obama on Monday phoned French President François Hollande to discuss reports of unauthorized spying by the American government on French citizens, according to a White House statement.
After a French paper reported that National Security Agency officials had collected millions of French phone log records, France summoned the U.S. ambassador seeking an explanation.
“The President and President Hollande discussed recent disclosures in the press – some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed,” read the White House statement. “The President made clear that the United States has begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share. The two Presidents agreed that we should continue to discuss these issues in diplomatic channels moving forward.”
The Obama administration made moves in an effort to soothe relations with leaders of Mexico and Brazil over similar allegations of spying last month.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.