On Monday, leaders of the G8 nations gathered for a working dinner in Northern Ireland to kick off the two-day summit. While the G-8 summit usually focuses on the global economy, this year the issues of government surveillance and the Syrian civil war are dominating the agenda.
Last week TIME released a poll which found 54% of Americans believe NSA leaker Edward Snowden made the right decision by unveiling the classified surveillance programs, and 76% believe that we will eventually learn that the surveillance program is even bigger and more widespread than originally known. “The official response to these two leaks is … an elite consensus that these things were good programs. They were not illegal, laws were not broken in these cases,” TIMES’s Senior White House Correspondent Michael Scherer said on Thursday’s show. “I think there is some consensus in Congress, in America, in the White House, that this is just the reality of the world.”
While the TIME poll shows that Americans may believe Snowden made the right decision, they still fault President Obama for invading their privacy. According to a new CNN/ORC poll, President Obama’s approval rank has dropped to 45%, which is his lowest number in a year and a half, with 50% of those polled finding Obama untrustworthy. “He has in large ways disappointed a lot of people,” The Washington Post David Nakamura said on Monday’s show. President Obama now “has a record to be judged on. So I think some of the push-back here at home is among young people who appreciate the president and supported him, but are disappointed his actions don’t necessarily meet his promises.”