TODAY   |  June 07, 2013

Andrea Mitchell: NSA leak a ‘big problem’ for Obama

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell discusses the political ramifications of the government’s collecting records from telephone calls made in the U.S. and tapping into servers to monitor video, audio and text conversations.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> much. andrea mitchell , good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt.

>> this gets bigger and bigger. all these phone calls are being recorded digitally not for content but for origin and destination. now word the government is going into the servers of the large internet companies. how does the government politically speaking make the argument that this is essential to national security and not a dramatic overreach in terms of personal privacy ?

>> it's difficult, matt, because as peter was pointing out overnight we had a late night close to midnight announcement of declassification from the director of national intelligence . they are scrambling. the administration's supported strongly by leaders in both parties from the intelligence committees arguing the telephone tracking program has broken off plot and broken one terrorist plot inside the united states from taking place. the argument is they've been authorized and reauthorized by a secret court and by congress, it's still shocking to a lot of people the scope of it. none of us experts who supposedly follow all this knew that this involved every single phone call and direct dives into the internet for content.

>> and a couple of elements of bad news for the administration. the latest nbc news/" wall street journal " polls show the americans are questions the obama's administration's honesty with the irs, benghazi and the phone taps. "the new york times" says "the administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. mr. obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it's been given." how much damage has been done?

>> it's not just going after the reporters on the leaks going too far. perhaps this narrative would not have been developed quite so strongly, now it does seem that this administration is snooping and even though they argue it's necessary for national security reasons it creates a big problem. back in 2005 on the floor of the senate, then senator barack obama argued forcefully against at least one of these programs.

>> if you think there were investigations into leaks prior to this, wait until you see the investigations coming out of this one.