An anonymous "US intelligence source" told a German newspaper that Obama had been briefed on the fact that the NSA had tapped German chancellor Angela Merkel's phone in 2010, and that he'd personally let it go. Expect a lot more of this, as spooks who are sick of being kicked around for conducting the spying that high-ranking administration officials had been delighted to green-light start to whisper the names of their collaborators in government.
Bild am Sonntag newspaper quoted US intelligence sources as saying that National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander had briefed Obama on the operation against Merkel in 2010.
"Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue," the newspaper quoted a high-ranking NSA official as saying.
News weekly Der Spiegel reported that leaked NSA documents showed that Merkel's phone had appeared on a list of spying targets since 2002, and was still under surveillance shortly before Obama visited Berlin in June.
Obama aware of Merkel spying since 2010: German media [Deborah Cole/AFP]