Transcript: Top Security Officials Talk With Diane Sawyer About the Nation's Safety

PHOTO Diane Sawyer, second from right, interviews Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, left, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and John Brennan of the National Security Council in Washington
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DIANE SAWYER: Let's just start with today. Such an anxious day in a number of anxious days for American. First of all, London. How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here? Any of the things that they've seen were coming here? Dr. Clapper?

JAMES CLAPPER: London?

JOHN BRENNAN: The arrest-- the arrest of the-- 12--

DIANE SAWYER: The arrest--

JOHN BRENNAN: --individuals--

DIANE SAWYER: --of the 12.

JOHN BRENNAN: --by the British this morning. It's something that the British informed us about early this morning when it was taking place. And--

JAMES CLAPPER: I think--

JOHN BRENNAN: --it-- it clearly-- indicates that there is an active threat that is-- exists in many parts of the world. We are in constant contact with the British right now. There's no indication at this point that it was directed toward our homeland. But this is something that we'll continue to work the British on.

DIANE SAWYER: But, again, when we look around today, just today with Newark Airport and the false alarm there, but New York City we had several of them. When you go in and brief the President -- I'm trying to imagine the language you use for him? Is it today we're at an eight on 10? Today we are blinking red. What is it you use to signal him what this time period is?

JAMES CLAPPER: Well, we don't use the-- the color convention necessarily and-- I should point out firstly that of course the President stays very conversant of these issues, so it's more of-- a conversation that has continuity from-- from day-to-day rather than-- some shocking new revelation-- of-- of today's events, because the President is very fluent on-- on these events and on these threats. So he-- so it's more of a-- I think a business-like-- proposition. And there's not a lot of history on it-- because we do have extensive me-- mechanisms to-- respond to and thwart-- any potential threats and-- and what's occurred in London is a case in point.

DIANE SAWYER: But what do you say to the American people right now about the degree of-- anxiety that's just realistic right now as we head into the holidays?

JANET NAPOLITANO: What I say to the American people is that we are-- and thousands of people are working 24/seven, 364 days a year to keep the American people safe. What I say to the American people is that our security in the homeland is-- is something that we work at at many levels. It's-- it's the federal government. It's state and local law enforcement. It's the private sector. It's-- even individuals, when you see something like the See Something, Say Something-- campaign. It's a shared responsibility that we all have. And that-- every-- effort is made on-- behalf of the American people to keep them safe.

DIANE SAWYER: You all sleep well at night?

JAMES CLAPPER: When we get to sleep, yes, we do.

JANET NAPOLITANO: I call it sleeping fast. (LAUGHTER) We sleep fast.

JOHN BRENNAN: And you're always-- (COUGHING) trying to anticipate what the next threat is going to be. What we need to do. One of the things that the President has said to all of us is to make sure we take every step we can-- when we have indications that there might be a threat to the American people. Either at the-- in the homeland or abroad. And so that's one of the things 'cause as we each go home at night we wanna make sure that we have done all that we can do to identify these threats and to stop them.

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