The White House cut off some of those monitoring programs once it learned of them, including one tracking German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to one senior U.S. official. According to the Journal, the officials' account suggested that Obama was unaware of the bugging for almost five years.
German magazine Der Speigel reported Saturday that U.S. bugging of Merkel's mobile phone may have dated as far back as 2002. Last week, Merkel expressed concern that the U.S. may have been monitoring her phone calls. Obama assured her that the U.S. "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications.