(CNN) - National Intelligence Director James Clapper is defending the government's massive NSA spying program.
Clapper said if Americans had been told about the data collection program right after 9-11, it wouldn't have been any big deal.
Clapper made that statement in an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast.
He said, "had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9-11, we wouldn't have had the problem we had."
Clapper went on to say the bulk collection of Americans' phone data would not be of "any greater concern than fingerprints."
He also compared it to removing shoes at the airport, saying, "we do things for the common good....and this is one more thing."
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