Rogers calls spying accusations 'disingenuous'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersNSA chief: Now is 'not the best time' for US-Russia cyber unit Space Corps proponents: 'The time for study is over' Former House intel chief: 'I wouldn't grant immunity' MORE (R-Mich) on Sunday said foreign governments accusing America of spying is "disingenuous." 

"This whole notion that we’re going to after each other on what is really legitimate protection of nation-state interests is disingenuous,” the congressman said Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

His comments come after reports last week claiming the National Security Agency has monitored the communications of more than 30 world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Mexico President Felipe Calderon. Another report also claimed the U.S. government monitored phone calls of French citizens. 

The reason why America’s intelligence operations have come to light, Rogers said, is because of the U.S. government’s oversight structure. Americans don’t hear about foreign governments’ intelligence operations because they don’t have the same level of oversight, he argues. 

Rogers said the journalists who have written about documents former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked to them are misinterpreting the surveillance program. 

“They’re seeing three of four pieces of an 1,000-piece puzzle and trying to come to a conclusion.” 

The report on France is the greatest example, Rogers added, because journalists assumed an acronym at the bottom of a slide meant indicating 70 million phone calls were monitored in that country. 

“This was about a counterterrorism program that had nothing to do with French citizens,” Rogers said.  “That is 100 percent wrong. That’s why this is so dangerous.” 

Overall, he says America’s intelligence-gathering abroad benefits everyone’s national security interests. 

“It’s a good thing. It keeps the French safe. It keeps the U.S. safe. It keeps our European allies safe.”