Former President George W. Bush said NSA leaker Edward Snowden had “damaged the security of the country” by revealing a broad swath of details on the agency’s surveillance programs that began under the Bush administration.
“I know he damaged the country,” Bush told CNN’s Robyn Curnow in an interview in Zambia, Africa, where he and former First Lady Laura Bush are renovating a health clinic. “The Obama administration will deal with it.”
Bush was asked if it was possible for a single person to “really damage” the nation’s security.
“I think he damaged the security of the country,” Bush said.
Bush defended President Barack Obama and his administration over programs that began during the Bush administration. Snowden’s new revelations have reignited a debate over government surveillance, as he has provided details on the NSA’s collection of phone records and Internet data.
“I put the program in place to protect the country. And one of the certainties was that civil liberties were guaranteed,” Bush said.
“So you don’t think there’s a compromise between privacy and security?” Curnow asked.
“I think there needs to be a balance, and as the President explained, there’s a proper balance,” Bush said.
Here’s the video of Bush’s interview:
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