New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly slammed the Obama administration for its handling of the National Security Administration scandal -- but not because he thinks the government was overextending its reach.

The city's top cop argued that the public would have been more amenable to the idea of the NSA spying on their electronic communications if it hadn't been kept a secret.

“I think the American public can accept the fact if you tell them that every time you pick up the phone it's going to be recorded and goes to the government,” Kelly said at an event Monday, according to the New York Daily News. "I think the public can understand that."

Though Kelly suggested that the content of Americans' phone calls is being recorded, the Guardian reported earlier this month that the government has been collecting call metadata, which includes the numbers a particular phone has dialled and the time, location and duration of calls, but not the content of conversations.

Obama's mistake, Kelly argued, was not being more forthcoming about what information the NSA is gathering, and which internal mechanisms draw the limit.

“I think we can raise people’s comfort level if in fact information comes out as to that we have these controls and these protections inside the NSA,” he said, according to the New York Post.

Kelly came under fire in 2012 after revelations about the NYPD's surveillance of Muslim communities.

At the time, he defended the police's spying. “Not everybody is going to be happy, but our primary mission, our primary goal is to keep this city safe and save lives,” Kelly said, according to CBS New York.

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  • Mustafa El-Amin, Nadia Kahf, Mohamed Younes, Mohamed El-Filali, Wahy-ud Deen Shareef

    Imam Mustafa El-Amin, center, answers a question as he stands with Nadia Kahf, second right, attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New Jersey, and Mohamed Younes, right, of Passaic, in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, May 24, 2012, after a meeting between New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Muslim leaders. Mohamed El-Filali, left, of Paterson, and Imam Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, second left, of Irvington talk aside. Following a three-month review, Gov. Chris Christie's administration said Thursday that New York City police did not violate New Jersey laws when they conducted surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups, rejecting demands by Muslim leaders for a formal investigation and a clampdown on cross-border police operations. Attorney General Chiesa, a Christie appointee, was meeting with Muslim leaders to discuss the findings. He said state officials and the New York Police Department have a new agreement to meet regularly to exchange information, and a new directive strengthens notification rules when New Jersey law enforcement learn of operations by outside agencies. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Mustafa El-Amin, Nadia Kahf, Mohamed Younes, Mohamed El-Filali, Wahy-ud Deen Shareef

    Imam Mustafa El-Amin, left, listens with Nadia Kahf, second right, attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New Jersey, as Mohamed Younes, right, of Passaic, answers a question in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, May 24, 2012, after a meeting between New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Muslim leaders. At rear, Mohamed El-Filali, right, of Paterson, and Imam Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, of Irvington, talk. Following a three-month review, Gov. Chris Christie's administration said Thursday that New York City police did not violate New Jersey laws when they conducted surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups, rejecting demands by Muslim leaders for a formal investigation and a clampdown on cross-border police operations. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Mustafa El-Amin, Nadia Kahf, Mohamed Younes, Mohamed El-Filali, Wahy-ud Deen Shareef

    Imam Mustafa El-Amin, center, answers a question as he stands with Nadia Kahf, second right, attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in New Jersey, and Mohamed Younes, right, of Passaic, in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, May 24, 2012, after a meeting between New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Muslim leaders. Mohamed El-Filali, left, of Paterson, and Imam Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, second left, of Irvington talk aside. Following a three-month review, Gov. Chris Christie's administration said Thursday that New York City police did not violate New Jersey laws when they conducted surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups, rejecting demands by Muslim leaders for a formal investigation and a clampdown on cross-border police operations. Attorney General Chiesa, a Christie appointee, was meeting with Muslim leaders to discuss the findings. He said state officials and the New York Police Department have a new agreement to meet regularly to exchange information, and a new directive strengthens notification rules when New Jersey law enforcement learn of operations by outside agencies. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Mustafa El-Amin

    Imam Mustafa El-Amin holds a Quran that he plans to give to New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa at a meeting with religious leaders in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, May 24, 2012. Following a three-month review, Gov. Chris Christie's administration said Thursday that New York City police did not violate New Jersey laws when they conducted surveillance of Muslim businesses, mosques and student groups, rejecting demands by Muslim leaders for a formal investigation and a clampdown on cross-border police operations. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Imam Hajj Talib Abdur Rashid, fourth from left, of the Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood of New York, speaks for a group of Muslim leaders excluded from a meeting with New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, during a press conference following the meeting on Friday, March 9, 2012 at police headquarters in New York. Imam Abdur Rashid accused Kelly of "only meeting with isolated individuals" who are his supporters and not his critics. Imam Shamsi Ali, third from right top, who was among Muslim leaders attending the meeting on the police surveillance of Muslim communities across the Northeast, spoke separately to reporters nearby. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • Imam Konate Souleimane, center, emerges from a meeting with New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as other Muslim leaders, excluded from the meeting, hold a press conference on Friday, March 9, 2012 at police headquarters in NewYork. Imam Souleimane was among a few select leaders who met with Kelly over the police department's spy program in Muslim communities across the Northeast. Muslim leaders at the press conference accused Kelly of "only meeting with isolated individuals" who are his supporters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • Omar Mohammedi, fourth from right, New York City Human Rights Commissioner, joins a press conference with Muslim leaders excluded from a meeting with New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Friday, March 9, 2012 at police headquarters in New York. Mohammedi was among a few select leaders who met with Kelly over the police department's spy program in Muslim communities across the Northeast. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • Khaled Hussein, Tarek Ewis

    Khaled Hussein, right, talks with Tarek Ewis, left, as they sit with a gathering at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, March 8, 2012, during an interfaith news conference to address concerns about the spying conducted by the New York City Police Department on the Muslim community in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Mohamed El Filali

    Mohamed El Filali, executive director of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, addresses a gathering at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, March 8, 2012, during an interfaith news conference to address concerns about the spying conducted by the New York City Police Department on the Muslim community in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • A large gathering sits at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, March 8, 2012, during an interfaith news conference to address concerns about the spying conducted by the New York City Police Department on the Muslim community in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • Fatima Kutty of Long Island, N.Y., a New York University senior, gathered with other students, faculty and clergy on the NYU campus Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 to discuss the recent discovery of surveillance by the New York Police Department on Muslim communities. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

  • New York University students, faculty and clergy gather at the Kimmel Center on the NYU campus Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 to discuss the recent discovery of surveillance by the New York Police Department on Muslim communities. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

  • Imam Khalid Latif, executive director of the Islamic Center at New York University (NYU), addresses students, faculty and clergy as they gather at the Kimmel Center on the NYU campus Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 to discuss the recent discovery of surveillance by the New York Police Department on Muslim communities. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

  • Mohammed el-Sioufi, Nagiba el-Sioufi

    Mohammed and Nagiba el-Sioufi are seen in their office as they are interviewed by the Associated Press about the New York Police Department's surveillance of the Muslim community in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Mohammed is an accountant and vice president of the Islamic Culture Center, a mosque in Newark. Americans in New Jersey

  • Abdul Kareem Abdullah

    Standing outside of his store, Abdul Kareem Abdullah, is interviewed by the Associated Press regarding New York Police Department surveillance of the Muslim community in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Americans in New Jersey

  • In this Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 photo, people walk on the University at Buffalo campus in Buffalo, N.Y. The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the University at Buffalo, the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

  • Members of the Muslim community rally for the resignation of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and NYPD spokesperson Paul Browne, in a demand for independent community control of the NYPD, and a well-funded oversight mechanism with subpoena power, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 in New York. Thirty-three civil rights groups from around America complained to the New York attorney general Friday about police documents that showed the New York Police Department recommending increased surveillance of Shiite mosques based solely on their religion. The letter urged Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate NYPD's surveillance operations, which monitored entire neighborhoods and built databases about everyday life in Muslim communities. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)