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Report: Officials Say White House OK'd Monitoring Of World Leaders

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AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin

One anonymous official told the newspaper that although Obama may not have been briefed specifically on those NSA programs, National Security Council staff would have known about the surveillance. Some officials also told the Times that professional staff at U.S. intelligence agencies believe the White House blamed them for conducting lawful surveillance in an attempt to distance itself from the fallout caused by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures.

Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said Monday in a statement that she is "totally opposed" to monitoring allied leaders, adding it was "a big problem" that Obama was reportedly not aware of the surveillance. Obama declined to discuss those reports Monday night in an interview with Fusion.