U.S. Russian Relations

U.S. Russian Relations
NBC NEWS
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Monday, August 12, 2013 - 7:57am

While on vacation, President Obama is still dealing with criticism on his handling of Russia and NSA Oversight.

Lawmakers and intelligence officials, say the President needs to be careful as he tries to strike a balance between restoring the public's trust and protecting national security.

Back in Washington, more troubles await the commander in chief.

Lawmakers are criticizing the President's plans to increase oversight of the NSA surveillance programs exposed by leaker Edward Snowden. "He's failed to explain these programs, which are lawful, which have saved lives," said Rep. Mike McCaul, (R) Texas.

"We need to do better in educating our public so they are not fearful," said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D) Maryland.

The former director of the NSA, warned added oversight could hurt a key part of the program, moving quickly to protect national security. "And so you need to be careful how many processes put in there," Gen. Michael Hayden, Former NSA Director.

The leaks seem to have pushed U.S. Russia relations to a post- cold war low, ever since Snowden obtained asylum in the country.

President Obama has canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, scheduled next month.

Some lawmakers want a stronger gesture. "Treat him in a realistic fashion. That's the way to treat Mr. Putin, not just canceling a meeting," said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.

Snowden's father continues to defend his son who he is preparing to visit in Russia after recently securing the papers he needs to travel.

Danielle Leigh, NBC News.

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