Continued from page 1

“If you’re asking me whether the president believes that journalists should be prosecuted for doing their jobs, the answer is no,” Mr. Carney said.

Reporters on Monday pressed Mr. Carney, the former Washington bureau chief of Time magazine, to say whether he agreed with the tactic of labeling Fox’s James Rosen as a potential criminal co-conspirator for extracting classified information with a State Department adviser who was charged later with leaking information about North Korean nuclear tests.

After the contentious exchange with reporters about the matter Monday, in which he said he “cannot comment” on whether Mr. Rosen was a potential criminal, Mr. Carney said Tuesday that he discussed it with the president.

Mr. Obama “reiterated just how important he believes it is to reporters that all of you and your colleagues are able to do your jobs in a free and open way and, as he has said, he believes there is an important balance to be found here and he thinks the questions about how that balance is being struck are entirely legitimate and he welcomes the public discussion,” Mr. Carney said.

When asked whether, as a reporter, he ever had to decide whether to publish classified information, he said he hadn’t: “Not personally.”

“It’s not about me. … As a reporter, I think I am more intimately aware of these issues than some folks,” he said.

News of the Rosen targeting broke just days after The Associated Press reported that the Justice Department had subpoenaed phone records for several of its reporters.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News said her home and work computers have been compromised for some time. Ms. Attkisson has been one of the few mainstream-media reporters to have aggressively pursued such stories as the botched Fast and Furious gun-running operation, and she said there may be a connection with Justice’s targeting of Fox News and AP, though she did not give any specifics.

“I think there could be some relationship between these types of things and what happened to me,” she said, adding that her suspicions have been piqued since “at least February of 2011 and I think probably a significant period of time before that.”

CBS News officials said they were investigating the compromising of her computers.

Also Tuesday, The New Yorker reported that as part of a leak investigation, the Justice Department obtained phone records for five numbers used by Fox News and two White House lines.

The report by Ryan Lizza suggests that Justice’s probe of Fox may be wider than thought.