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In his first public comments about the terror threat in the Middle East, President Barack Obama used an interesting forum.

The Jay Leno Show.

Obama’s sixth appearance on the show came just days after the State Department ordered the shut down of nearly two dozen U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa, and he took the opportunity to urge Americans to “live our lives,” but to be vigilant if planning to travel.

He also mentioned that the odds of dying in a terrorist attack are less than dying in a car accident.

“Terrorists depend on the idea that we’re going to be terrorized,” Obama added. “We’re going to live our lives.”

The president also addressed another main concern of Americans – spying.

Speaking to Leno about an NSA information collection program, President Obama assured the audience that there is no domestic spying program. The program in question collects phone record metadata to prevent terrorist attacks.

“We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama said. “What we do have are some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to a terrorist attack,” he said. “That information is useful.”

And of course, in a conversation about invasive NSA programs, Obama spoke about U.S./Russia relations and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s asylum.

Most surprisingly, the president briefly spoke about his impromptu speech regarding Trayvon Martin’s death and George Zimmerman’s acquittal, touching on “fairness” in the justice system and the challenges that young black men have to face in America.

“We all know young African-American men disproportionately have involvement in criminal activities and violence for a lot of reasons,” the president told Leno. “And that’s no excuse, but what we also believe in is people, everybody, should be treated fairly and the system should work for everyone. And so what I’m trying to do is just make sure that we have a conversation and that were all asking ourselves, Are there some things we can do to foster better understanding? And to make sure we don’t have laws in place that encourage the kind of violent encounter that we saw there that resulted in tragedy.”

“I think all of us were troubled by what happened,” Obama told Leno. “Any of us as parents can imagine the heartache that those parents went through. Now it doesn’t mean Trayvon was a perfect kid, none of us were — as we were talking offstage — when you’re a teenager, especially a teenage boy, you’re gonna mess up. And you won’t always have the best judgment.”

But his appearance on the late night show wasn’t all politics and news. The president and Leno talked about his birthday plans this past weekend, which included a game of basketball with high school and college friends. And not one to pass up a joke, Obama said the game “was a sad state of affairs…a bunch of old guys. Where’s the ibuprofen?”


SOURCE: NBC | Youtube

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