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Obama Addresses Snowden Asylum, NSA On Tonight Show: ‘We Don’t Have A Domestic Spying Program’

President Obama dropped by The Tonight Show on Tuesday, and leading up to the televised interview, part of Obama’s remarks were released, and in them the president talks to Jay Leno about the worldwide terror threat issued over the weekend, the NSA surveillance programs released to the public, and the man who exposed them: Edward Snowden.

Variety reported that Obama downplayed the alarm bells rung by Snowden and Glenn Greenwald over the surveillance programs.

He defended government surveillance but acknowledged they have “raised a lot of questions for people.”

“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” he said. “What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack…That information is useful.”

He expressed disappointment with Russia granting Snowden asylum, and said of the whistleblower himself, “We don’t know exactly what he did, except what he said on the Internet, and it’s important for me not to judge.”

Obama also joked about his lunch meeting with Hillary Clinton and his “bromance” with John McCain.

We will add the video when it becomes available.

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