Obama Defends NSA Programs

Says lives have been saved


President Barack Obama took office with a "healthy skepticism" of national security surveillance programs, but has scrutinized them to a point where he is confident his administration has "struck the appropriate balance," he said Tuesday.

"This applies very narrowly to leads that we have obtained on issues related to terrorism or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," he said in Berlin at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "This is not a situation where we are rifling through, you know, the ordinary emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anyone else."