President Barack Obama’s administration continued to spy after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, even after he announced two years ago he would curtail the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program on friendly heads of state, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
Current and former officials who spoke to the newspaper said that the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch and that Netanyahu topped the list.
The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups, the report said.
That raised fears, an “Oh-s**t moment,” one senior official said, that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress. (READ MORE)