"We should never collect economic information under the pretext of security," Clinton told O Globo, a newspaper in Rio de Janeiro.
Asked by CNN Espanol whether his comments were intended to help his wife, Bill Clinton said they weren't and that he was helping Obama instead.
Obama will give Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom after the latter offered some not-so-helpful recommendations for the health-care law.
“We don’t face beatings, lynchings and shootings for our political beliefs anymore."
The EPA’s headquarters has become the William J. Clinton Building.