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Obama asks Germans to give the US 'benefit of the doubt' on NSA surveillance, given US history

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is asking Germans to give the United States "the benefit of the doubt" on National Security Agency surveillance, given U.S. history.

Obama says "there's no doubt" that NSA leaker Edward Snowden's revelations about the U.S. spying programs damaged the impression of U.S. intelligence operations among Germans. He says that's understandable, given Germany's history.

He says he's trying to work through the issues to create greater transparency. But Obama also tells reporters Monday the U.S. wants to prevent attacks like the ones that occurred last month in Paris.

He's asking Germans to recognize that the U.S. has a history of promoting civil liberties and has been a consistent partner to Germany for decades.

Obama spoke at a White House news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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