White House spokesman Jay Carney has been very clear. The United State is not, nor will it eavesdrop on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's private cell phone conversations with leaders of other countries.
But you know those White House reporters - always sticklers when it comes to verb tense - especially that Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press who wanted to know has the U.S. done this in the past.
"Nedra we are not going to comment publicly on every specified alleged intelligence activity," said Carney.
He made it perfectly clear Nadra, you asked, "has the U.S. eavesdropped Angela Merkel in the past" and he's telling you "No we won't."
"The United States is not and will not monitor the chancellor's communication," said Carney.
Is not and will not monitor the chancellor's communications - which as I see, means that we will not allow the past to change the present non-monitoring of Angela Merkel that is and will continue not to happen.
Absolutely. It makes perfect sense in English, but I guess that doesn't translate well into German because Ms Merkel was whatever the German word for ticked-off is.
"We need to have trust in our allies and partners and this trust must now be established once again."
Of course, here in America we're just relieved that finally the NSA is collecting information on foreigners for a change.
Plus, as CBS security analyst Juan Zarate will tell you:
"It's what government's do, they spy on each other."
But I do think the president needs to send a certain German chief executive a very nice bouquet of flowers. Because he probably already knows her favorite color, and her favorite perfume, her shoe size, and then there's the unfortunate tattoo.
Whatever it takes to keep America safe.