US President Barack Obama said he is the "final user" of all intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency (NSA), but declined to comment on allegations that he knew the agency had spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
President Obama said the White House gives the NSA "policy direction", but that "their capacities continue to develop and expand."
"The national security operations generally have one purpose and that is to make sure that the American people are safe," he said.
The President made the comments during an interview with Fusion, a cable network jointly owned by ABC and Univision.
More top news
A female motorcyclist who hates litter bugs seems to have taken drastic action to make people stop dropping rubbish on the streets in Russia
You can buy just about anything on Alibaba, including some very unusual items.
Firefighters across California have been battling major wildfires in what could be the most destructive wildfire season on record.