Defending U.S. surveillance and data-collection practices, President Obama on Wednesday told a crowd in Berlin that those programs help keep people safe “here in the United States.”
The misstatement came near the conclusion of Mr. Obama’s address, given in front of the city’s symbolic and historic Brandenburg Gate.
“I’m confident that working with Germany we can keep each other safe while at the same time maintaining those essential values we fought for,” he said, vowing to not allow drones or other technology to threaten the liberty of American citizens and to continue seeking the proper balance between privacy and security.
“Our current programs are bound by the rule of law and they’re focused on threats to our security, not the communications of ordinary persons. They help confront real dangers and they keep people safe here in the United States and here in Europe,” he said.
With the temperature in Berlin soaring to 92 degrees, Obama removed his suit jacket to deliver his speech — but was still seen sweating profusely through his white dress shirt.