In response to new spying allegations, Obama says every intelligence service spies on its allies

President Barack Obama has a simple answer to European outrage over new allegations that the U.S. spies on its allies: The Europeans do it too.

Obama said Monday during his trip to Africa that every intelligence service does its best to understand the world better. It was an attempt to blunt European reaction to new revelations from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden that the U.S. spies on European governments.

Former intelligence officials say European spies have been spying on the U.S. for years. They say such spying includes tracking senior U.S. officials to see what they are doing in countries like France and Germany, which have both complained bitterly about the EU reports.