PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – WPHT’s Dom Giordano spoke with UN Ambassador John Bolton on Tuesday about Edward Snowden and the NSA Prism program.
During the interview Bolton expressed how he felt that we are not paying enough attention to national security.
“That problem begins at the top with the president,” says Bolton. “He doesn’t pay nearly enough attention to it and you can see the effect of his unwillingness, his inability – whatever it might be – to get involved with Snowden.”
The UN Ambassador went on, asking if President Obama called the presidents of both China and Russia or if the Secretary of State called his counter-parts.
“What exactly are we doing to make it clear just how serious this is for us,” said Bolton. “The information that Snowden is carrying is highly detrimental to our national security.”
He went on asking why top leaders haven’t been more active in getting Snowden back into the country if the situation is as serious as people are leading it on to be.
“Why haven’t our top leaders been more active in making it clear, we want this guy back in the United States and if we don’t get him, there will be consequences,” said Bolton.
When asked what type of repercussions could be imposed, Bolton explained that he would act against the Chinese immediately by pulling the Beijing ambassador indefinitely and permanently lifting all travel restrictions on government officials from Taiwan, in hopes of showing Russia that there are consequences that can be avoided if Snowden is turned over.
“If we don’t act against China, Russia will think – and I’m afraid they may be right – we won’t act against them either,” he said. “We don’t want to get into a tit-for-tat exchange with them; we want Snowden.”
Giordana asked the UN ambassador if there were parts about what the NSA program was doing with data mining that troubled him.
“The IRS, the Benghazi, the press subpoena scandals are very different from the NSA,” said Bolton. “This is a foreign intelligence gathering agency; that’s its mission. It’s restricted in many, many ways by statute and by regulation about eavesdropping or snooping on Americans.”
He explained that, in the Verizon subpoena matter for example, the NSA is looking for a connection between foreign telephone numbers and numbers in the U.S.
After being asked what if, with all that has happened, the NSA wanted to get information and blackmail him, Bolton replied, “There’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that that has happened. None. Zero. Zilch. And until somebody convinces me that the Department of Defense…is doing that, then I think talking about the potential for abuse simply has no foundation in reality.”
To listen to the full interview, click here.