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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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June 19th, 2013
05:06 PM ET

NSA spying revelations damper Obama's Berlin visit

Things have changed since President Barack Obama was last in Germany back in 2008. For starters, he was merely candidate Obama back then, and a cheering crowd of 200,000 was there to greet him.

A smaller, invitation-only crowd of a few thousand was on-hand for his speech at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate Wednesday.

This time around, the enthusiasm was dampened by revelations that the NSA used its "boundless informant" program to spy on Germany more than any other country in the European Union.

Speaking from behind a pane of bulletproof glass, the president stuck to a lot of the same applause lines he hit back in 2008.

"The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand," Obama said in 2008. "Work harder, together, to bring those walls of division down," he said Wednesday.

Obama 2008: "We must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons."
Obama 2013: "Pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons."

Obama 2008: "We must come together to save this planet."
Obama 2013: "Refusing to condemn our children to a harsher, less hospitable planet."

Obama announced plans to cut America's nuclear stockpile by as much as a third - and to negotiate more cuts with the Russians.

He also defended NSA surveillance to the Germans - who've known a thing or two about governments spying on their own people.

"Our current programs are bound by the rule of law, and they're focused on threats to our security – not the communications of ordinary persons. They help confront real dangers," Obama said Wednesday.

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