By Justin Sink
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday said no decision has been made on whether to end a National Security Agency program that spied on allied leaders.
The White House spokesman reiterated that the United States planned a “review of our activities around the world,” but said the administration was “not going to discuss the details or the outcomes until it's completed.”
A spokesperson for Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that the White House had informed the California lawmaker that it planned to halt such surveillance.
Carney on Tuesday acknowledged that the White House consulted “regularly” with Feinstein, but refused to confirm whether a decision to cut surveillance of allied leaders had been made.
European leaders have been outraged over the spying, in which the NSA allegedly monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.
Separately, Carney also refused to confirm a report Tuesday that French and Spanish intelligence services aided the NSA in its surveillance efforts.
“I’m not going to get into the specific, alleged intelligence activities of the United States or our allies,” Carney said.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that American allies had gathered phone records from calls that occurred in war zones and other areas outside those countries' borders. According to the reports, the phone records were then shared with the NSA, who compiled and analyzed them for use in efforts to protect allied troops.
That differed from initial reports, which suggested that American intelligence was collecting information on French citizens inside France. Earlier this month, Le Monde reported that more than 70 million French phone records between early December 2012 and early January 2013 had been collected by the NSA.
“We understand the concerns that have been raised, and are working with our friends and allies to discuss these matters,” Carney said.