Top intelligence officials talk NSA reforms on “Face The Nation”

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's speech outlining reforms to the National Security Agency dominated the discussion Sunday on “Face The Nation,” and top intelligence officials questioned whether the changes go too far or not far enough.   The issue of US-Russia relations was also a key focus of the broadcast, as top Intelligence officials charged that the Russians may have been involved and given support to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has publicly supported the NSA surveillance program since it was revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden last year. Rogers said Sunday that Russia may have assisted Snowden, who got temporary asylum and lives in Moscow.

“There's some security things that he did get around that were clearly above his capabilities,” Rogers said. “The way he departed and how he ended up in Moscow -- now, we still have some questions there, but I can guarantee you he's in the loving arms of an FSB agent right today, and that's not good for the United States and it's not good for the information to be shared with nation-states.”

The intelligence chairman’s comments on “Face The Nation” were reported by the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the BBC and several other publications.

Also on the show Sunday, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said the changes to the NSA were a “milestone” and lauded Obama for his plan to move the troves of phone records out of the government’s hands. Udall has access to classified national security briefings as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“He showed he was listening to those of us across the political spectrum,” Udall told “Face The Nation” host Bob Schieffer. “I feel like I've been a voice in the wilderness all these years. And we're now in a position to keep faith with the constitution, to also respect American's privacy.”

Udall’s comments were reported by the Associated PressReutersMcClatchy , USA TodayBloomberg and The Hill. He was also mentioned in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times articles.

Later in the program, Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, agreed with Rogers’ assertion that Snowden may have received help from Russia. The International Business Times and CNN covered his appearance on the show.  (Editor's Note: Morell is now a CBS News contributor, effective January 20).

  • Marshall Cohen

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