On CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday morning, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough defended the Obama administration’s sweeping surveillance methods, which were recently revealed in a series of blockbuster reports by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald. According to Greenwald, the National Security Agency is gathering metadata on the digital communications of millions of Americans.

But when McDonough was pressed by host Bob Schieffer on whether the president viewed the NSA’s efforts as a violation of any American’s privacy, he responded that Obama “does not.”

McDonough added that Obama will elaborate on the issue of surveillance “in the days ahead.”

“You’ll hear what he said when he responded to reporters last week on this question, which is we do have to find the right balance, especially in this new situation where we find ourselves with all of us reliant on Internet, on email, on texting,” he said.

McDonough also said that the White House has no idea of the whereabouts of whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who has admitted leaking the NSA information to Greenwald.

“I’m sure you’ll understand when I tell you I don’t want to get involved in any ongoing investigation or any kind of effort that’s being undertaken,” McDonough said. “But I can tell you that I don’t know where he is right now.”

— Posted by Tracy Bloom.


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