President Obama this afternoon addressed recent reports of the National Security Agency secretly obtaining phone records and private data for surveillance.

During his speech he indicated that Americans needed to trust the system of government set up to thwart abuse.

“If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

Obama added that the National Security agents behind the surveillance programs “cherish our Constitution.”

“The last thing they’d be doing is taking programs like this to listen to someone’s phone calls,” he said.

Obama explained that it the appropriate checks and balances were in place to make sure that executive programs were not abused.

“You can shout Big Brother or program run amok, but if you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance,” he added.