WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- The former National Security Agency employee who leaked news of the agency's telephone data gathering is a "traitor," House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday.
Addressing a wide range of issues during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Boehner called leaker Edward Snowden "a traitor" who had put Americans at risk, ABC News reported.
Echoing President Obama's comments the NSA activities were "important national security program to help keep Americans safe," Boehner said the revelation "shows our adversaries what our capabilities are."
The speaker agreed with administration assertions the program was constitutional, saying there are "clear safeguards."
Boehner was critical, however, of Obama's record in reducing joblessness. The president's policies "are getting in the way of creating more jobs," he said, pushing for reform of the tax code and reduction in federal regulations.
He applauded the so-called congressional "Gang of Eight" who crafted an immigration reform bill being debated in the Senate, but expressed concern "it doesn't go far enough."
Boehner was hopeful the House Judiciary Committee could produce its own bill by the end of June and that the president would have a bill to sign by the end of the year.
Boehner maintained it was "inconceivable" the president was not aware the Internal Revenue Service was targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.
"It doesn't pass the straight face test," he said.