“The federal government has taken note of the report and is in contact with all relevant national and international bodies for clarification,” German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters on Monday.
“As a matter of principle… the federal government does not openly comment on matters concerning intelligence activities,” Seibert added.
Several European media outlets, including the Danish state broadcaster DR, reported that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE) had helped the NSA to spy on national and foreign officials. It was said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among those surveilled.
The report has caused outrage in Denmark and abroad. Merkel’s top rival, Peer Steinbruck of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), called the revelations a “scandal.”
Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen released a short statement to the media, saying that “the systematic wiretapping of close allies is unacceptable.”
The proof that the US had spied on European leaders was disclosed in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has since remained a fugitive in the US and resides in Russia.