Washington (CNN) - The NSA is denying a report in a German newspaper that the agency’s chief – Gen. Keith Alexander-had informed President Obama in 2010 about the monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone.
NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines told CNN: "Gen. Alexander did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel. News reports claiming otherwise are not true."
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The Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday that Alexander personally informed Obama about the secret surveillance operation against Merkel in 2010. The newspaper reported that “Obama didn’t then stop the operation, but let it run on,” attributing the statement to a “trusted intelligence officer” involved with the NSA operation against Merkel.
The paper also reports that the White House then ordered from the NSA a wide-ranging dossier on the Chancellor because Obama, according to the “high-ranking NSA official,” did not trust Merkel and wanted to know everything about her. “Who is this woman exactly?” Obama supposedly asked.
At the White House, a National Security Council spokeswoman repeated previous statements made in response to the alleged Merkel monitoring and reports about when Obama was purportedly aware of it.
“We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations,” NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.