Despite the backlash the Obama administration has received from the National Security Agency spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the surveillance was “not exceptional,” according to former NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden.
Hayden, speaking with “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer on CBS, said it was unlikely that the NSA, the Obama administration and White House staff didn't know about the spying, but that he believed President Obama when he said he didn't know.
“I take the president's statement at face value,” Hayden said. Hayden was appointed by President Clinton to head the NSA in 1999, then by President George W. Bush to head the CIA in 2006.
Hayden added that he didn’t think it was odd for the president to not know about the spying, saying “this wasn’t exceptional.”
“This is what we were expected to do,” Hayden said.
Asked if he believed that other nations around the world were spying on the U.S., Hayden said he “would just assume that almost all other nations in the world conduct espionage.”