US House Votes Decisively To Extend Controversial Surveillance Powers

Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma listen at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. The Trump adm

The current congressional discussion over FISA stems from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, which introduced Section 702. It will now go to the Senate for a vote.

The measure would have required the Federal Bureau of Investigation to get a probable cause warrant to continue even querying the database of intelligence collected on foreign targets overseas.

In an initial tweet he said the section 702 provision had been used by the Obama administration to "so badly surveil and abuse the Trump campaign", suggesting he was opposed to the bill.

Before that he posted: "Disproven and paid for by Democrats 'Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?"

It's an awkward position, one not helped by a president who doesn't seem to understand the law and who will forget everything he might have learned about it in the past year because his television told him it is bad.

And they follow a simmering feud that Trump has waged with the CIA and other intelligence agencies since before he took office.

"It was amusing", said Rep Tom Cole, R-Okla.

In other areas, Jordan and his compatriots on the House Judiciary Committee, including chairman Rep.

And on Wednesday, Trump contradicted his own statement in June that he would agree "100 percent", to sit down with special counsel Robert Mueller to discuss the probe into potential collusion with Russian Federation during the election and subsequent obstruction of justice.

But top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees already had seized on the president's first tweet, excoriating it as "irresponsible" and "untrue".

Trump's misunderstanding of the nuances of surveillance laws came as he and his aides have been struggling to silence the debate over the president's mental fitness after allegations in a new book about the chaotic White House.


Congress is rushing against a January 19 deadline to renew the powers under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is chiefly aimed at collection of the contents of phone calls, emails and other communications of foreign targets overseas.

The Trump administration backed the extension of a surveillance program created to spy on foreign citizens outside the US, but President Trump himself didn't sound so insane about it - suggesting in a tweet Thursday that the law allowed illegal surveillance of his presidential campaign. Those officials have broken their traditional wall of silence in order to openly talk with journalists and members of Congress about how important they consider it.

Opponents, however, claim it allows intelligence agencies to collect and scour massive amounts of data from USA citizens.

"No American should have their right to privacy taken away!" The emails sought advice on how to build explosives and were collected under a Section 702 warrant.

That's despite his administration expressing support for renewing the program.

The White House's efforts to portray Donald Trump as a fully engaged, compos mentis president hit a speed bump on Thursday.

Lest there be any doubt that Trump was indeed watching "Fox & Friends", note that he mentioned the show by name in two other tweets on Thursday morning.

"Unmasking" is one example, they argue. The "unmasking" refers to senior government officials asking an intelligence agency to reveal the names of Americans or USA entities in a piece of intelligence to better understand the information.

In a fact sheet, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says there are strict guidelines on the use of 702, which "cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, or any other USA person, or to intentionally target any person known to be in the United States".

"The Administration urges the House to reject this amendment and preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives", the White House said in a statement. The FISA program was used to "unmask" former national security adviser Michael Flynn when he was communicating with Russia's ambassador to the us, according to Business Insider. "Spying is valid to find the foreign agents among us, but it's gotta be based on suspicion".

"It's well known that he has concerns about the domestic FISA law". This isn't about politics. "Congress must reauthorize it". "Men aren't angels. We need to make sure somebody is watching and there are checks and balances".

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