House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday wouldn’t say whether he knew about the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance system , noting there are a number of classified programs the government uses.
Asked by “CBS This Morning” host Norah O’Donnell whether he knew about PRISM before the disclosures, the No. 2 Republican in the House said, “There are a variety of classified programs that exist for us to, again, guard against a terrorist threat.”
Cantor said the courts had upheld the program, but shifted the conversation to the source of the leaks, saying that the question now is, “What exactly has this individual done? Where are these programs in terms of their status now if information has been leaked?”
Host Charlie Rose asked Cantor if the Obama administration’s surveillance goes further than that of the Bush administration.
“We again, Charlie, these are questions we don’t know the answer to,” Cantor said.
“How do you not know the answer? I mean you’re one of the top ranking Republicans on Capitol Hill, you have access and oversight, and you don’t know the answers?” O’Donnell interjected, saying that Americans should be concerned that Congress didn’t have the ability to oversee the executive branch on the issue.