Clinton: NSA leaks were ‘damaging’

Former President Clinton on Tuesday said stories about secret National Security Agency surveillance have hurt the United States's standing in the world.

Clinton added he would have “serious reservations” about spying on world leaders’ communications, and that there should be explicit rules on that kind of surveillance.

“I do think that the stories about the data collection has had a damaging effect,” Clinton told Fusion’s “America with Jorge Ramos.” “And not just in Latin America, but in Europe and Asia.

"Now, it’s interesting," he continued, "because in some other countries it’s come out that those governments were doing the same thing, or that other governments had given us permission.”

Reports that the NSA spied on as many as 35 world leaders have outraged a number of overseas allies. Surveillance of world leaders was just a portion of reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, which the Obama administration argues has damaged national security.

Clinton said he would have likely approved surveillance on a leader he thought was engaged in hostile acts during his presidency. But he added that technology in the 1990s wasn't as advanced as it is today.

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