President Obama promised reforms with regard to the oversight of U.S. surveillance measures at a press conference this afternoon.
“It’s right to ask questions about surveillance, particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives,” Obama says. “It is not enough for me, as President, to have confidence in these programs, the American people need to have confidence as well.”
He proposed more oversight by Congress, more oversight of the FISC court, more transparency, a website to serve as a hub for transparency and forming a group of outside experts.
The conference is being carried live by ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Julie Pace from the AP got the first question, who asked about the U.S./Russia relationship. Obama said that he does not support boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
NBC’s Chuck Todd gets the second question, and asks whether Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower because his comments led to the changes today, and also whether his relationship with Vladimir Putin has been strained. he said that he does not believe Snowden is a patriot.
CBS’ Major Garrett gets question three, and asks about who the next Federal Reserve Chairman will be.
Wall Street Journal White House correspondent Carol Lee got question four, and asked why the public should trust him on the surveillance issue.
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked whether Al Qaeda has really been decimated, given the recent embassy closings.
Fox News correspondent Ed Henry asks question six, about the healthcare law implementation and the Benghazi attacks.
Jessica Yellin from CNN asks whether Obama would let the government shut down if Republicans threatened to do so if Obamacare was not de-funded.
NPR’s Scott Horsley asks about immigration reform.