President Obama spoke with French President François Hollande by phone Monday just hours after a report revealed the National Security Agency has spied on France.
“The President and President Hollande discussed recent disclosures in the press — some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed,” the White House said in a statement.
The French newspaper Le Monde published a report Monday based on secret documents Edward Snowden leaked that said the U.S. tapped into France's phone records.
France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls called the report “shocking” and “totally unacceptable.”
The story came the same day Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel Kerry: Trump can’t instantly undo Obama actions ‘All or nothing’ leaves us nothing MORE arrived in Paris for an official visit to discuss the situation in Syria with his French counterpart.
“Such practices between partners are totally unacceptable, and that he must assure us that they are no longer going on," the foreign ministry said. "We asked for a prompt and tangible response to our concerns."
According to the White House, the U.S. has begun reviewing how intelligence is gathered and how to “properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”
Recent reports — mostly based on documents leaked by Snowden — have also exposed similar programs in Britain, Germany, Mexico and Brazil.