President Obama doubled down Monday on his defense of two National Security Agency spying programs that have damaged his approval ratings and distracted his presidency.
In an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Obama argued it’s a “false choice” to suggest freedom must be sacrificed to achieve security, a phrasing that echoes comments he made on the campaign trail in 2008.
“To say there’s a tradeoff doesn’t mean somehow that we’ve abandoned freedom,” Obama said according to a transcript first published by Buzzfeed. The full interview will air later Monday.
The president insisted that he had implemented additional safeguards to protect personal privacy, and sought to contrast his polices with the Bush administration amid charges that the surveillance programs highlight his own hypocrisy.