Boehner on NSA Whistleblower: 'He's a Traitor'

Speaker of the House talks to George Stephanopoulos about the screening of Americans' phone records.
4:04 | 06/11/13

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Transcript for Boehner on NSA Whistleblower: 'He's a Traitor'
Now, to my exclusive interview with house speaker john boehner. Boehner is pressing hard on the irs scandal. He began our interview with tough words for edward snowden. He's a traitor. The president outlined last week that these were important national security programs to help keep americans safe and give us tools to fight the terrorist threat that we face. The disclosure of this information puts americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are. And it's a giant violation of the law. As you point out, the president has said these programs are effective. Fully constitutional. Fully approved by congress and limited. Do you agree with all that? I do. I've been briefed on these programs. There's no american that's going to be snooped on in any way, unless they're in contact with some terrorists around the world. Even though all of these phone records, not phone calls, but all of the phone records are being scooped up, you believe that americans' privacy is still protected? Absolutely. And every time that I've been in a briefing, nine of the ten people in the room are lawyers. They're to protect the privacy of the american people. These investigations in the internal revenue service. Last week, you said it was inconceivable, I believe, that president obama did not know about this before he said he knew about the problems at the irs. Do you believe that? What is it based on? It's based on many of his senior staff knew about it. Have known about it for some time. Only this year. Well, over the last three or four months. George, I know how my operate. But my senior staff, I meet with them every morning. It would be inconceivable in my operation that my staff would know it and I wouldn't. You think the president is being straight -- I think it's inconceivable. He said that's the fact. Okay. You don't buy it? It's just -- it doesn't pass the straight face test. How can your chief of staff, your general counsel know, and you not know? The more important point, george -- that's a pretty serious charge. There's a serious problem at the irs. Our goal is to root out the problem. Have you seen any evidence or has chairman issa produced any evidence that this was led by the white house in any way, shape or form? This white house has performed like any white house I've seen. Stonewall, stonewall, stonewall. Reluctant to turn over information. What information do you want they haven't provided? I want to know this was operated by low-level employees in cincinnati. You don't buy that? I don't buy that. You believe it was directed from the white? I don't know where it was directed from. It's not my job to do that. Our committees have to do their job. The immigration is on the senate floor this week. Can you support the senate bill? I have real concerns about the senate bill. Especially in the area of border security and internal enforcement of this system. I'm concerned it doesn't go far enough. If it goes farther, are you prepared to sign on to a bill with a clear path to citizenship for those in the country illegally? What I've tried to do is create an environment in the house where members of both parties can continue to work together. And I would expect that the house bill will be to the right of where the senate is. What's the most important thing you'll get done this year? I think immigration reform is probably at the top of that list. Signed into law? I think by the end of the year, we could have a bill. One that passes the house, passes the senate, signed by the president? No question. Speaker, good luck. Thank you. I'll need it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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