Former President George W. Bush is insisting that a National Security Agency (NSA) Internet surveillance program started during his administration “guaranteed” civil liberties, and that Edward Snowden “damaged the country” by leaking details about it.
In an interview with CNN’s Robyn Curnow published on Monday, Bush was confident that “the Obama administration will deal” with Snowden and the fallout from his leaks.
“I think he damaged the security of the country,” he explained. “I put the program in place to protect the country, and one of the certainties is civil liberties were guaranteed.”
The former president added that his program had found “the proper balance” between privacy and security.
Bush said that he “could care less” that polls showed more Americans now viewed him favorably.
“Ultimately history will judge the decisions I made, and I won’t be around because it’s going to take a while for the objective historians to to show up,” he grinned. “So, I’m pretty comfortable with it. I did what I did.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast July 1, 2013.