Former President George W. Bush minced no words to describe the actions of Edward Snowden, who leaked information regarding the nation’s surveillance program. Bush, on a humanitarian mission in Zambia with his wife Laura, said:
I know he damaged the country. The Obama administration will deal with it. I think he damaged the security of the country. I put the program in place to protect the country, and one of the certainties is civil liberties were guaranteed. I think there needs to be a balance [between security and privacy] and as the president described, there is a proper balance.
Bush would not criticize Obama, saying, “It doesn’t do any good. It’s a hard job. He has plenty on his agenda and it’s difficult. [A] former president doesn’t need to make it harder.”
The two men are scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Tanzania for a ceremony at the U.S. embassy where eleven people were killed in a 1998 bombing.