Support and criticism
House members from both political parties Tuesday raised concerns with administration officials who briefed the entire chamber on the government's recently revealed top secret surveillance programs.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters the closed briefing was "thoughtful" and not steeped in politics.
Representatives from both parties raised "legitimate" concerns about the programs, said Rep. Mark Sanford, R-South Carolina.
Throughout the day, the administration facing a steady stream of criticism and support from allies and enemies alike.
Some of the sharpest criticism came from Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who blasted Obama's top intelligence official Tuesday, saying that James Clapper failed to shoot straight during a March congressional hearing.
"One of the most important responsibilities a senator has is oversight of the intelligence community," Wyden said. "This job cannot be done responsibly if senators aren't getting straight answers to direct questions."
In March, Wyden asked Clapper whether the NSA collects "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
"No sir," Clapper said.
On Saturday, Clapper told NBC News that he "responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least most untruthful, manner."
He told NBC that he had interpreted "collection" to mean actually examining the materials gathered by the NSA.
He had previously told the National Journal that he had meant that "the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens' e-mails," but he did not mention e-mails at the hearing.
Clapper's office had no immediate comment on Wyden's statement.
Concern over security clearance
Criticism also began to emerge over how Snowden, a low-level computer technician working for a private contractor in Hawaii, was able to have access to such highly classified information.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, said Tuesday that "people are asking why does a kid who couldn't make it through community college can make $200 grand a year and be exposed to some of our most significant secrets."
Snowden last worked for the computer consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.
The company fired him Monday after less than three months on the job for violations of company policy and its code of ethics. Despite what he had said was a $200,000 salary, the company said he earned $122,000.
U.S. intelligence officials say the NSA, CIA and other intelligence officials are reviewing security measures in light of the leaks, examining how Snowden had access to so much information and weighing whether changes should be made.
They are also looking at the contractor piece of the picture, although the officials say security clearances are no different for contractors than they are for staff employees.
Michael Hayden, who once led both the CIA and NSA, told CNN the leaks showed a failure of security, not a contractor issue.
"If you're going to give anyone access to your database, it's still your database," he said, "and you have to assume responsibility for the vetting process of the contractors involved."
Hayden said he was surprised this kind of data would have been available to Snowden.
"I'm more surprised that a low-ranking fellow, working apparently on a NSA contract in Hawaii, gets access to such a sensitive program," he said.
Uncertainty over next move