Key European allies of the United States are demanding answers after a new report alleged that the administration of former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spied on them between 2012 and 2014.
Denmark’s public broadcaster, DR, reported Sunday that the National Security Administration (NSA) collaborated with Danish intelligence service FE to eavesdrop on high-ranking officials and heads of state from Germany, France, Norway and Sweden. Now, leaders across Europe are calling for more information as now-President Biden prepares to meet with the G7 later in June, in the United Kingdom.
BREAKING: Denmark’s secret service has helped the United States spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European politicians.https://t.co/loxpAw6UKg
— DW News (@dwnews) May 30, 2021
The surveillance program, known as Operation Dunhammer, tapped the communications between Danish officials and foreign leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to DR. Merkel’s relationship with Obama was strained in 2013 when it was revealed the U.S. was surveilling her phone communications. (RELATED: Russia Warns America To Expect Various ‘Uncomfortable’ ‘Signals From Moscow’ Ahead Of Putin-Biden Meeting)
French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters Monday that eavesdropping on European leaders would not be “acceptable amongst allies” if true. “We expect our Danish and American partners to be completely open and to clarify the matter,” he said. “…there is no room for suspicion between us.”
Merkel affirmed Macron’s sentiment, adding that while the alleged spying occurred almost a decade ago, it was still a serious situation.
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist added that it is “unacceptable to eavesdrop on allies.”
Obama apologized for the previous spying incident involving Merkel and promised that he had no knowledge of it. Biden has made repairing America’s alliances a key pillar of his foreign policy agenda in contrast to the often abrasive style of diplomacy deployed by the administration of former President Donald Trump.