President Barack Obama
discussed the recent threat that caused the United States to close
its embassies throughout the Middle East
Speaking on NBC's "The Tonight Show" with host Jay Leno Obama said "It's significant enough that we're taking every precaution."
"It's a reminder that for all the progress we've made ... this radical, violent extremism is still out there," Obama said. "We've got to stay on top of it."
Obama claimed that the administration was not overreacting with its decision and that Americans can still take their vacation in a "prudent way" by checking on State Department websites for up-to-day information before making plans.
Obama added: "The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident, unfortunately."
In a wide-ranging interview Obama also commented on US relations with Russia and remarked he was "disappointed" that Moscow had granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.
Obama, in his first comments about Snowden since Russia's decision last week, said the move reflected the "underlying challenges" he faces in dealing with Moscow.
"There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality," Obama said.
During the interview, Obama also lauded two of his former political rivals: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John McCain.
The president said that while he and McCain still have significant policy differences, the Republican senator is "a person of integrity." But Obama said jokingly that it's probably not good for McCain if the Democratic president compliments him on television.
Obama also discussed his recent lunch with Clinton, his rival in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. Clinton, who left the State Department earlier this year, had a post-administration "glow," Obama said.
But he sidestepped questions about whether she was measuring the curtains in the White House for a possible 2016 presidential bid.
"Keep in mind," Obama said, "she's been there before."
AP and Reuters contributed to this report
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