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

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October 25th, 2013
05:32 PM ET

Fmr. State Department spokesman: Spying scandal will dog Obama for the rest of his time in office

One of the president's Homeland Security and counterterrorism advisers, Lisa Monaco, defended the administration's intelligence practices an a USA Today op-ed Friday, writing that surveillance policies are under review, and adding, "We are not listening to every phone call or reading every e-mail. Far from it...And though we collect the same sort of intelligence as all nations, our intelligence community has more restrictions and oversight than in any other country in history."

This comes one day after The Guardian newspaper reported the NSA is spying on world leaders, quite possibly including American allies. This is just the latest in a string of NSA revelations coming from former contractor Edward Snowden, and there may be more to come.

"Obviously, at some point, you'll reach the floor and then you can begin to rebuild what has been damaged and restore what's been lost," said former State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley.

"But I'm not sure that we're at that point yet. It's that drip, drip, drip aspect to it is part of the difficulty the administration is having of getting ahead of it," said Crowley.

The consequences from allegations that the U.S. is spying on its allies will be mixed.

Certain intelligence activities have been damaged, said Crowley, but "we are talking about Europe."

"Europe and the United States look at the world in largely the same way so we will recover from this as we have recovered from past periods of time where there have been difficulties," said Crowley.

"Obviously there's a loss of comfort and potentially trust at the leadership level and that probably will dog the president the remainder of his time in office," said Crowley.

Read: Europe falls out of love with Obama over NSA spying claims

But how surprised, really, was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that U.S. intelligence was spying on her phone?

"In the abstract, people do understand that nations spy on each other and actually, for very good reason," said Crowley, saying there was likely foreign intelligence gathering happening in the U.S. during the government shutdown and debt debate.

"I'm sure there was some intelligence activity here to understand how would this develop, where would it end, because their economies are at stake," said Crowley.

"There are very good reasons why you want to use your intelligence assets to understand the world, try to understand what's happening elsewhere that affects us, and they do as well, because what we do affects them," said Crowley.

For more of our interview with P.J. Crowley, watch the video above.

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