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U.S. officials deny reports that Obama knew about NSA spying in Germany

Photo by Pete Souza/White House

German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, citing unnamed intelligence sources, reported Sunday that President Barack Obama knew U.S. intelligence agents were eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone in 2010 and allowed the surveillence to continue. German magazine, Der Spiegel, reported that the NSA first started tapping Merkel’s cellphone in 2002.

NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines told USA Today, “Gen. (Keith) 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.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the White House ended a program used to spy on Merkel and a number of other world leaders after an internal Obama administration review revealed its existence this summer.

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