Obama Talks Terror Threat, Edward Snowden With Jay Leno [VIDEO]
President Barack Obama talked about the terror threat that has closed 19 US embassies and expressed disappointment at the Russians for granting temporary asylum to Edward Snowden during an appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In his first comments on the latest security threat from al-Qaida, Obama said Tuesday that Americans should go ahead with summer travel plans abroad despite global travel warnings. But he said they should “show some common sense” and recognize that some countries are more dangerous than others.
He didn’t specify which countries posed the greatest threat. He also wouldn’t say whether the U.S. learned of the threat through National Security Agency Surveillance programs.
The appearance was Obama’s sixth appearance on the Tonight Show as either a candidate or president.
Obama also denied there is a domestic spying program in the United States. Obama described the NSA efforts as “mechanisms that can track a phone number or an e-mail address that is connected to a terrorist attack … That information is useful.”
On the subject of Trayvon Martin, Obama said, “We want to make sure we don’t have laws that encourage that kind of violent encounter that we saw in that tragedy.”
Obama ‘disappointed’ in Russia’s Snowden decision
Obama made his first comments about American Edward Snowden since the former U.S. government contractor who disclosed secrets was granted temporary asylum by Russia saying he’s disappointed with Russia’s decision and that the move reflects “underlying challenges” he faces in dealing with Moscow.
The president says he’ll be attending an international summit in St. Petersburg in September. But he doesn’t say if he plans to attend meetings in Moscow with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Asked about a new Russian law that bans gay activism, Obama tells Leno he has “no patience” for countries that treat gays in ways that are intimidating or harmful. Russia has said it will enforce the law when it hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics. The president says Putin and Russia have “a big stake in making sure the Olympics work.”
On a lighter note, Obama presented car aficionado Leno with a Matchbox-size replica of the presidential limo. “I assume the real car will be in my garage after,” joke Leno, who is scheduled to turn over Tonight Show hosting duties to Jimmy Fallon in February.
He also joked about Hillary Clinton having a “post administrative glow” during a recent lunch. You know, when folks leave the White House, like two weeks later they look great,” Obama joked.
The Associated Press contributed to this report